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Originally published: 2014-05-20 21:11:50
Last modified: 2014-05-21 11:53:49

Memorial Day Ceremony slated for Monday at Boone Mall

by Sherrie Norris

The High Country Chapter NC 21 of the Military Officers Association of America will host its eighth annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Boone Mall beginning about 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 26.

According to MOAA spokesman and current chapter president, George Brudzinski, retired USMC lieutenant colonel, the 2014 event is expected to be an uplifting ceremony during which a hometown hero will be honored for their accomplishments and lifetime service to their country and community.

The Watauga High School Marine Corp JROTC cadets will provide this year's honor guard. A selection of patriotic music will be performed by the Watauga Community Band.

Various local veterans organizations will also be represented at booths throughout the mall in honor of their fallen comrades and to increase community awareness about their groups and the services they provide.

A special program will be presented by Generation Excellent, an Ashe Country-based nondenominational homeschool ministry group that expresses faith through Scripture, songs, skits and testimonies. They will be depicting scenes of American history during Monday's event. (Read more about the group in this coming Sunday's edition of the Watauga Democrat.)

The High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America was formed in 2004 and serves Avery, Mitchell and Watauga counties. The MOAA is a nonprofit veterans association dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and to preserving the earned entitlements of members of the uniformed services and their families and survivors, officials said.

Membership is open to those who hold or have ever held a warrant or commission in any component of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, public health service or NOAA and their surviving spouses.

The local chapter has once again been awarded the MOAA 5-Star Level of Excellence Chapter recognition, the highest level of recognition available. It is one of only two chapters selected for the award from the North Carolina Council of Chapters/MOAA.

The organization is actively involved in numerous community activities, including the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day events at the Boone Mall, as well as Watauga County Relay For Life (June 20), commissioning ceremonies at Appalachian State University and scholarship presentations.

For the upcoming Blood, Sweat and Gears fundraiser, June 27-28, the group will be supporting 25 Wounded Warriors members who are riding the 100-mile bike ride through the Ride2Recovery Program, and will be helping to serve dinner and check in the 1,200 riders expected for the 100- and 50-mile bike rides.

On behalf of the MOAA, Brudzinski welcomes all military personnel, veterans, their families, friends and community members to attend Monday's ceremony of remembrance and recognition.