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City of Kannapolis holds Memorial Day Ceremony Monday

A Memorial Day procession took place after the ceremony. Everyone brought American flags to wave during the ceremony.

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The City of Kannapolis held a Memorial Day Ceremony in Veterans Park Monday that drew hundreds. 

The ceremony included remarks from guest speaker Rear Admiral Miriam Lafferty of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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American Legion Post 115 brought together veterans and their families to honor and mourn U.S. military members who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

"It's very important that we have this service and remember those that did give the ultimate sacrifice for this country," U.S. veteran Baxter Shelton, who served in the U.S. Air Force, said. "And without them, where would we be today? And no, we wouldn't be free. Freedom is not free." 

Shelton was joined by his friend Grey Clarke, a U.S. Army veteran, who remembered multiple veterans who died in service including his uncle. 

"He was in World War II," Clarke said. "He got shot three times." 

Despite the rain, hundreds stood in silence and solidarity for those gone too soon.

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It’s a day of reflection and remembrance of those who died while serving in the U.S. military, according to the Congressional Research Service. The holiday is observed in part by the National Moment of Remembrance, which encourages all Americans to pause at 3 p.m. for a moment of silence.


The holiday stems from the American Civil War, which killed more than 600,000 service members — both Union and Confederate — between 1861 and 1865.

There’s little controversy over the first national observance of what was then called Decoration Day. It occurred May 30, 1868, after an organization of Union veterans called for decorating war graves with flowers, which were in bloom.

The practice was already widespread on a local level. Waterloo, New York, began a formal observance on May 5, 1866, and was later proclaimed to be the holiday's birthplace.

Yet Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, traced its first observance to October 1864, according to the Library of Congress. And women in some Confederate states were decorating graves before the war’s end.

But David Blight, a Yale history professor, points to May 1, 1865, when as many as 10,000 people, many of them Black, held a parade, heard speeches and dedicated the graves of Union dead in Charleston, South Carolina.


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