LUMBERTON — A Memorial Day ceremony that includes awards and dinner are on the docket for the local Veterans of Foreign Wars’ “Night with Veterans.”
The event, hosted by VFW Post 8969 and its Women’s Auxiliary, will be held at Bill Sapp Recreation Center on Pine Street from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday.
It’s the first year the VFW post has invited the public to its annual award ceremony.
“One of my jobs was to send to individuals into combat and a lot of those guys didn’t come back, so it’s important to me to recognize veterans, especially during Memorial Day to recognize the sacrifice that they have taken up willingly and to recognize those that have died in service to our country,” said Senior Vice Commander Al Floyd, who is one of the moderators for the ceremony.
Tickets are $25 per person or $200 for an eight-person table. To purchase tickets, call Floyd at 910-374-8689.
Floyd said a “missing man table” will be set with a place setting, a Bible, a flag and more to honor those who have died in combat.
“That’s kind of the backbone of our Memorial Day portion,” he said.
The dinner, which includes two meats, four vegetables, bread, dessert and beverages, will follow the ceremony.
After the ceremony, three Teachers of the Year will be named as well as the winners of the national VFW organization’s essay contests.
For the Voice of Democracy contest, high school students were asked to answer why they are optimistic about America’s future. Junior high students explained what patriotism means to them for the Patriot Pen contest.
Local winners will go on to the district, state and then national competitions.
A Business of the Year, Service Person of the Year and Civilian of the Year will also be named.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Ft. Bragg’s Wounded Warrior Project and the K&L Homeless/Disabled Veterans Home in Lumberton.
Other Memorial Day events include:
— My Refuge, located at 2020 W. Fifth St. in Lumberton, will host a short Memorial Day program on Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m. followed by an all-you-can-eat lunch.
— St. Pauls VFW Post 12025 and American Legion Post 5 will host a Memorial Day ceremony at St. Pauls’ Broad Street War Memorial on Monday beginning at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will include guest speakers, a wreath-laying ceremony, refreshments and music. The event is free and open to the public.
— Fairmont will host a Memorial Day ceremony in the Heritage Center at 207 S. Main St, beginning at 1 p.m. on Monday. A representative from the Veterans Administration will speak about the services it offers.