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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

May 23, 2003


CHARLOTTE, NC -- They gave their lives in service, and now their names will be displayed in a place that helps to tell Mecklenburg County's history.

A large wall plaque honoring the Mecklenburg County veterans who died in wars from World War I through the first Gulf War now has a home at The Charlotte Museum of History. At a 2 p.m. ceremony on Sunday, May 25, 2003, the official unveiling of the Wall of Honor, with its 911 names, is set to take place at the museum at 3500 Shamrock Dr., in Charlotte.

"So many people have worked to make this project successful," said retired Lt. Colonel Robert Weeks, director of the Mecklenburg County Veterans Service Office. "We believe the wall is a fitting tribute to the veterans who died in battle, and we're grateful that its placement at the museum will mean Mecklenburg County residents -- and other visitors -- can fully appreciate the memorial."

Weeks will speak during Sunday's ceremony, which also includes the presentation of the colors and taps. The public is invited to the ceremony, which is in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. The Wall of Honor will be added to the museum's "Soldiers' Stories: War in the First Person" exhibit.

About three years ago, the former director of the Veterans Service Office, Dan Cravey, started the process of building the memorial, and research began to find the names of Mecklenburg County natives who died in battle, Weeks said.

The 4-foot by 8-foot Wall of Honor is constructed of varnished wood with each name engraved in gold on a black plate. Each of the 911 nameplates is mounted to the wall with space for additional names should further research reveal any. Piedmont Marketing Concepts of Charlotte engraved the nameplates. Owner H. Vernon Hayes and employee William Joyner volunteered to do the engraving. David Willis with Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Management volunteered to mount the nameplates on the wall. Various veteran service organizations funded the cost of the materials.

Weeks said some other area observances of the Memorial Day holiday include:

· Charlotte Memorial Gardens, 7632 Hood Road in Charlotte: 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 25

· "Memorial Day Celebration" at Crown Memorial Park on Rodney Street in Pineville, at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 26. The celebration includes an F-16 fly over, food, entertainment, bagpipes, face painting and other activities.

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