Boone Mall Hosts 7th Annual Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 25

Published Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm
A veteran salutes

A veteran salutes at last year’s Memorial Day observance at the Boone Mall. Photo by Jesse Wood

By Jesse Wood

The local chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will host its 7th annual Memorial Day observance the Boone Mall on Monday, May 25.

The ceremony commences at 10:30 a.m. with a medley of patriotic music by the Watauga Community Band, and the posting of the Military Colors will follow the playing of the national anthem by the band.┬áThis year’s guest speaker is retired U.S. Army Colonel Benjamin Covington.

In previous years, well over 400 guests have attended from around the High Country, and organizers expect a similar size audience next Monday.

In a letter inviting the Watauga County Board of Commissioners the event, High Country Chapter MOAA President Bob Gibbard noted the significance of the event:

“This day represents a day when we should all take time to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for the freedom of others,” Gibbard wrote. “On this day we also support the families of our military personnel who have lost loved ones and who sacrificed silently over the years.”

Gibbard encourages those who have served or are currently serving to wear their service uniform.

The day’s program also includes service theme songs by the band, history and playing of taps and retiring of colors and closing remarks.

For more information, contact Gibbard at 828-262-3039.

See photos of last year’s event below:

A veteran stands when his service song is played at the ceremony.

A veteran stands when his service song is played at the ceremony. Photos by Jesse Wood – unless noted

Sonny Sweet with April Pope of the Watauga County Veterans' Services

Sonny Sweet with April Pope of the Watauga County Veterans’ Services – Photo by Ken Ketchie

Seth Norris, chaplain of the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America and pastor at Perkinsvile Baptist Church, speaks before those gathered at the Boone Mall to celebrate Memorial Day.

Seth Norris, chaplain of the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America and pastor at Perkinsvile Baptist Church, speaks before those gathered at the Boone Mall to celebrate Memorial Day.

April Pope stands with several veterans at the ceremony in the Boone Mall.

April Pope stands with several veterans at the ceremony in the Boone Mall. Photo by Ken Ketchie

Sonny Sweet hugs Susan Jones of the local chapter of the Kiwanis Club after receiving the Zeller Award.

Sonny Sweet hugs Susan Jones of the local chapter of the Kiwanis Club after receiving the Zeller Award.

Veterans stand when his service song is played at the ceremony.

Veterans stand when his service song is played at the ceremony.

Lt. Col. George Brudzinski presents Army veteran Sonny Sweet with the President's Award.

Lt. Col. George Brudzinski presents Army veteran Sonny Sweet with the President’s Award.

Sonny Sweet (second from left), sitting with family, listens to folks praising him for his service to this country and service to this community.

Sonny Sweet (second from left), sitting with family, listens to folks praising him for his service to this country and service to this community.

Veterans stand when his service song is played at the ceremony.

Veterans stand when his service song is played at the ceremony.

Sheriff Len Hagaman, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, Sonny Sweet and another woman pose after the ceremony.

Sheriff Len Hagaman, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, Sonny Sweet and another woman pose after the ceremony.

Generation Excellent of Ashe County present Sonny Sweet with an award on Memorial Day.

Generation Excellent of Ashe County present Sonny Sweet with an award on Memorial Day.

At least 250 people attended the Memorial Day programming at the Boone Mall.

At least 250 people attended the Memorial Day programming at the Boone Mall.

Veterans stand when his service song is played at the ceremony.

Veterans stand when his service song is played at the ceremony.

Mayor Andy Ball shakes Sonny Sweet's hand.

Mayor Andy Ball shakes Sonny Sweet’s hand.

The Watauga Community Band provided the entertainment on Memorial Day.

The Watauga Community Band provided the entertainment on Memorial Day.

Jim Street of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Red Cross thanks Sonny Sweet for his service to the community.

Jim Street of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Red Cross thanks Sonny Sweet for his service to the community.

Scott Nelson had many wonderful things to say about Sonny Sweet on Memorial Day.

Scott Nelson had many wonderful things to say about Sonny Sweet on Memorial Day.

Members of the Watauga High School JROTC pose for a picture before the ceremony.

Members of the Watauga High School JROTC pose for a picture before the ceremony.

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