North Carolina remembers the fallen on Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
North Carolina remembers the fallen on Memorial Day
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From Raleigh to Fayetteville, veterans and their families gathered to remember Monday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- From Raleigh to Fayetteville Monday, ceremonies honored America's fallen soldiers, sailors and Marines from wars past and present.

At the State Capitol Building, veterans gathered with their families to remember those who didn't make it home. The names of 41 who didn't return from the Vietnam War - and are still listed as missing - were read aloud.

"It's important that we keep the word out so those families can get the closure they deserve, which is part of what Memorial Day is all about, is remembering those, and not just the people who died, but the families they left behind. The opportunities they lost in order to fight for our freedoms," explained Bill Dixon with NC Vietnam Veterans, Inc.

In Fayetteville, Memorial Day honors were held at the Airborne and Special Ops Museum. A wreath was laid at Freedom Memorial Park for those who fought and fell during both World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and more recent struggles in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Among those veterans laying the wreaths was retired Army LTC Arturo Macaltao who was wounded in a north Vietnamese firefight in September of 1966.

"There's probably not a day that goes by that I don't think about it, and again this is just my way of honoring them and carrying on the memory," he explained. "I was blessed enough to survive what I went through, to get married, so I've been blessed in that respect."

At Durham's Maplewood Cemetery, people of all ages paused in a solemn and heartfelt moment to recognize the sacrifices made for our nation.

There was a salute of gunfire followed by the playing of Taps. And, a wreath was laid.

"I'm impressed with what's here today to be honest with you. A lot of people have forgotten, and I think it's time we start remembering again," said veteran Mike Page.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory spent the day in Wilmington at the battleship North Carolina.

"Today we honor the men and women who paid the ultimate price to defend the rights and freedoms we enjoy every day as Americans," Governor McCrory said. "The people of North Carolina have always answered the call of service in our nation's hour of need. Not only do we pay tribute to the fallen, but also those who remain missing in action. May we remember each day their sacrifice with the utmost gratitude and respect."

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