NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Veterans and community members attended a Memorial Day Ceremony at the New Bern National Cemetery Monday morning.
For many, Memorial Day is a day off or an opportunity to go to the beach, but for families like the Harris family, it’s an opportunity to see and honor loved ones.
“Since I lost my son, now I know what Memorial Day means,” said Mable Harris. “This is year 25. He has been dead for 26 years.”
Mable Harris is one of the Gold Star mothers who was honored during the Memorial Day service at New Bern National Cemetery in memory of her son Michael Harris.
“I’m not sad about it,” said Harris. “It hurts, but I’m not really sad because that’s what he wanted to do, and if it made him happy, I’m happy too.”
Harris said she knows people are here for different reasons but believes her family is not the only ones thinking of her son.
“I thank God for all these people that are out here remembering my son amongst their son’s and their daughters and husbands and wives that they find a little place in their heart for my son too,” said Harris.
She said there is one thing he said to her that helps put today in perspective, “I didn’t want him to go to war, but he said if going to war means keeping you all safe I’m willing to go.”
She said now she’ll never forget what Memorial Day means.
The cemetery was decorated with miniature American Flags placed by local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Young Marines.
Following a brief program, attendees had the chance to place flags next to the grave sites.
Additionally, pavement boundaries were decorated with 35 veteran and community wreaths and embellished with American, state and military flags all snapping and cracking in the wind.
The keynote speaker was Rev. Doc, Avery C. Brown, United States Navy, Chaplain, (Ret.)