Friday, May 30, 2014
Flags flew. Tears fell. And people gathered in Murrells Inlet on Monday to remember the fallen, the people who gave their lives so that Americans could live free.
Memorial Day activities began early at American Legion Post 178 as a bus carrying more than 50 wounded warriors from Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and Fort Belvoir in Virginia pulled into the parking lot.
There, the injured service members were met by post and auxiliary members, treated to breakfast and sent on their way with accolades and best wishes to their next stop.
Those left behind – nearly 75 strong – gathered at the post flagpole, where speakers, including the post officers, explained the importance of Memorial Day while recounting the numbers of the dead from battles since the Civil War.
At VFW Post 10420, more than 150 people gathered to rededicate the Fallen Heroes Memorial, the post’s tribute to South Carolinians who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq, Afghanistan in the War on Terror.
The memorial, dedicated on Veterans Day 2013, has grown to include benches in the sand-washed colors of the two main overseas nations, has grown to include bricks – also in sandstone – and each service branch inscribed on the black marble that represents the color of the mountains.
A new addition to the VFW post’s commemoration was the Battle Cross Ceremony by the Combat Veterans Association.
The ceremony, which is believed to date back to the Civil War, allows those in the field of battle to honor their fallen comrades where they died.
A service member’s rifle, fixed bayonet, boots, helmet and dog tags are draped at a makeshift memorial, followed by a prayer.
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