May 22, 2014. This Memorial Day, the Boone Mall will host the eighth annual Memorial Day Ceremony held by The High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 26 with The Watauga Community Band playing a prelude for the veterans.
This year’s ceremony will honor a hometown hero for lifetime service and various accomplishments. The High Country Chapter of the MOAA is comprised of 58 former and retired officers with retired USMC Lt. Col. George Brudzinski serving as its spokesperson and chapter president.
Brudzinski expects this year’s ceremony to stand out. He mentioned that previous years have been solemn and contemplative.
“But this year will be much more upbeat,” he said.
Featured in the event is Generation Excellent, a choir of 14 men and women from Asheville who express their faith through scripture, song, dance and theater. This Monday, they’ll be performing, depicting scenes of American history, dressing in patriotic costumes and singing melodies.
“Generation Excellent will add a lot spirit to the event,” Brudzinski said.
The Watauga High School Marine Corps JROTC will also be present in the ceremony, providing this year’s honor guard. About 350 to 400 people attend the ceremony each year.
“This is a tradition started eight years ago and it has become an event that is highly appreciated and anticipated by our community,” Brudzinski said.
“We have representation from local, state, and federal government at the event, but this is to honor our veterans.”
The High Country Chapter of the MOAA was founded in 2004, serving Avery, Watauga and Mitchell counties. It has repeatedly earned MOAA Five-Star-Level of Excellence chapter recognition, the highest level of recognition available.
Membership to the organization is open to anyone who holds or has held a warrant officer or commissioned officer position in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, public health service or NOAA. Surviving spouses of officers are also entitled to membership.
Brudzinski, on behalf of the MOAA, welcomes all members of the community to attend Monday’s ceremony and honor the veterans.