The Westfield Ruritan Club will host the community’s 23rd annual Memorial Day Service Sunday afternoon, inviting residents and those from surrounding areas to join in honoring both veterans who have served and sacrificed for their country and those who are currently serving.
The service will begin at 1 p.m. around the World War II Memorial, adjacent to the Westfield Ruritan Community Building on the grounds of the old Westfield School on Westfield Road (NC Highway 89.) The site is located across from the Westfield Post Office.
“This will be a little later start for us than in past years,” noted Westfield Ruritan Club President Greg Jessup. “We had some people who wanted to attend but said they had to rush to get there right after church. We want everybody who wants to be a part of honoring our veterans to be able to attend.”
A centerpiece of the ceremony has always been the World War II Memorial, containing the names of area veterans who sacrificed their lives in service. The service also honors other veterans for their service to country. Each year a wreath is placed at the memorial as part of the ceremony.
In following the event’s long tradition, patriotism will be a central theme of the day. Activities will include special performances of patriotic song and the raising of the flag. An honor and color guard composed of veterans from Pilot Mountain VFW Post 9436 and Mount Airy Post 2019 will provide a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.
Guest speaker will be VFW Post 9436 Commander Harlan J. Hawks. Hawks served in the United States Army from 1965-68. His service included a tour of duty in Vietnam where he served with the 25th Medical Battalion and the 25th Infantry Division.
Hawks received several awards for his service, including being awarded the Combat Medical Badge for providing medical aid while under enemy fire.
“It’s an honor for all of us to be a part of this,” Hawks said. “It’s a privilege to be able to honor those who have given their lives for our country.”
“This service is for those who have put their lives on the line for our country and our freedom,” Jessup said. “Our club does this to honor and remember the men and women who have served and died. This is a way of showing our respect and letting our veterans know their service is remembered.”