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Wreaths Across America honors fallen soldiers

The Chowan Herald - 12/20/2017

Just one week before Christmas, Wreaths Across America honored various branches of the armed forces this holiday season. Dorothy Morrow, her husband Fred, and many friends and supporters came out on a frosty Saturday afternoon to lay pine wreaths wrapped in beautiful red bows, before the headstones of our dearly departed fallen soldiers and veterans. Visiting three cemeteries in the Edenton-Chowan area: Beaver Hill, Providence Burial Ground, and Vine Oak, marked by both red and blue flags.

Veterans representing each branch of the armed forces showed up in a stunning display, ready to stand with their brothers in arms. After the opening remarks read by American Legion Auxillary President Debbie Bonner, American Legion Post 40 Commander Maureen Sobulefsky introduced the names of those who came to pay homage. They are, in order of the program: Harold Shafer -United States Army Veteran, Derrek Armstead - United StatesMarine Corps Veteran (and this year's City Council candidate), Jerry Sobulefsky - United States Navy Submarine Service Veteran, Douglas Ford - SMSGT United States Air Force Retired Veteran, Ron Green - United States Air Force Veteran, Roscoe Poole, Jr. - United States Army Veteran, and finally Earl Bonner - United States Marines, United States Army and National Guard Veteran.

Each veteran placed a gorgeously decorated wreath in front of the flag representing their branch of the armed forces, saluting the flag in humble reflection. Earl Bonner was significant in his honoring "the 93,129 United States Servicemen from all branches of the service whose last known status was either Prisoner of War or Missing in Action. These individuals have never returned to their families and homes"-as stated in the program. Each representative was escorted by two members of the John A. Holmes High School'sJr. ROTC and Naval Academy's cadets.

Finally, after an emotional serenade of Military Anthems by the Albemarle Sound Choir, and TAPS trumpet salute by Patrick O'Neal, the families of former soldiers and veterans were first to lay wreaths, followed by volunteers and friends. An additional wreath was laid at the headstone of Private Jonathan Over-ton, African-American Revolutionary War veteran of North Carolina's 10th Regimen, found currently at Providence Burial Ground next to Beaver Hill Cemetery.

Our Christmas angels, our dearly departed veterans are never far from our hearts, but they serving in the army of the Lord. They are standing among the ranks of the greatest that ever lived, and someday, we may see them again. The best way to honor them this Christmas is to have faith and believe.

"This day could not happen if we didn't have the support and generosity that this community exemplifies," stated Dorothy Morrow, Shirl Lavook, and Flo Lawrence, co-chairs of Wreaths Across America'sEdenton Chapter. "To those who helped locate gravesites, set up and participate, who graciously sponsored our raffle by donating the prizes, to those who bought a wreath for their loved ones and those who made a donation to purchase the wreaths for those veterans whose families could not, Thank You." as stated in the program. "Last year the weather was so bad, not many people showed up. But this year was great!" said Former Sgt. Michael Jackson, now serving as an instructor to the JAHHS Jr. ROTC and Naval Academy Programs.


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