WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - People gathered at the National Cemetery in Wilmington to honor those who have died serving our country.
The New Hanover County Veterans Council has hosted the service since 1981. The ceremony was started by Tommy Townsend, a local veteran. He wanted to make sure that Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans day were all celebrated with community ceremonies.
Mayor Bill Saffo and Council member Jason Thompson joined local families Monday to remember more than 400 veterans from our area.
The ceremony included a wreath laying and tolling of the ship's bell when 423 veterans' names were read. The cemetery has recently been re-landscaped so that all gravestones are level, as is appropriate for a military cemetery.
The New Hanover County Veterans Council is a loose confederation of local veteran organizations, their auxiliaries and other patriotic organizations. Together, their membership reaches more than 4,000 members.
New Hanover County has more than 19,000 veterans, and it also has one of the largest military populations in the state.
The Civil Air Patrol and Scout Troops 210, 224, 225, 232, and 253 can be thanked for placing the hundreds of flags around each gravestone throughout the cemetery.