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Memorial Day ceremony held last Friday

Published on Thursday, May 30, 2019

Memorial Day ceremony held last Friday

Vikki Harris wanted people to always remember that Memorial Day is not for the living.
"It is for those who have paid that price," she said. "We want none of you to ever forget those people who paid that ultimate price."
Harris, director for the Marlboro County Veteran Affairs Office,  spoke at the third annual Memorial Day Wreath Laying on May 24 at the monument at the Marlboro County Courthouse.
"We all have a duty to care for every last veteran, for every last widow, and to look after those dependents of those veterans who have gone on before us," she said. "Let's not forget this and put it in your hearts and your minds. Not just this day but going forward."
Sgt. Donald Rivers was the guest speaker. Rivers, who served in the U.S. Army for 26 years and is a JROTC instructor at Marlboro County High School, wanted veterans and families of those who have passed to know the sacrifices they had made had not gone unnoticed.
"When you look around the military, it comes in all colors," he said.
And no matter what branch a person has served, there is a special bond, Rivers said.
He shared that 22 veterans commit suicide every day.
"The things you have seen and had to endure in the military, you come back home and try to fit right back in but your mind won't allow you to get there," he said. "Sometimes it takes time and takes help from a fellow soldier or a fellow veteran."
Rivers said he is not immune to the number and wanted to make a difference in this world by starting with the young people.
"Military is right here," he said touching his heart. "Your service you have done is here. Nobody can ever take that away from you."
He thanked all the veterans for their service to this country.
Sgt. Major Phil Holman spent 30 years in the U.S. Army with 21 of those years in the Special Forces.
"Memorial Day means a special thing to me," he said as he got choked up. "If I went to the (Vietnam) wall, I've got 13 friends that are on that wall. So this is very special."
Specialists Stanley King and Jonathan Jefferson of the  S.C. National Guard in Bennettsville placed the wreath.
Marlboro County High School JROTC presented the colors and members of the MCHS Chorus sang the National Anthem.
A cookout was held at the DD McColl House for veterans following the ceremony.

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Author: Dan McNiel

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