Family and friends of veterans will gather Monday to celebrate the sacrifice of local soldiers who have lost their lives throughout the years, which will include the reading of names of soldiers from Sampson County who have lost their lives in action, dating back to the Civil War.
The Sampson County Veterans Park will be hosting a Memorial Day service on Monday, May 30, at 10 a.m. The event is put together by the Sampson County Veterans Council and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
“It’s a very solemn event,” says Ann Knowles, the director of Veterans Services. “It’s a time for the people attending to think back on family members that have gave their life during their service.”
The service will include speakers such as Abe Piasek, a Holocaust survivor who was living in Poland when the Nazis invaded during World War II, as well as other speakers and recognitions to veterans. Afterwards, refreshments will be provided by the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.
Knowles says that she has been, “very fortunate to work with the VFW,” and that not just veterans, but citizens, are often supported by them through their various events throughout the year.
The Memorial Day service has been an annual event in the community since 1977, and has been located in different areas around the county throughout the years. Last year, 175 community members came to the service.
The VFW will also be accepting new members after the Memorial Day celebration, which spectators can inquire about at the designated tables, where any questions regarding signing up will be answered.
Poppies will also be given in various locations throughout the weekend, with a table being set up after the service as well. Red poppies are worn in remembrance of those who have died in war. This tradition began in 1915 with one woman, named Moina Michael, who was inspired by the poem titled, “In Flanders Fields.”
In 1922, the VFW became aware of the act of wearing the red poppies, and became the first veterans organization to adopt the giving the poppies in order to raise awareness for veterans, which is still continues to do today. Any donations given will be given to veterans in need.