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Again I want to thank The Wilson Times for another professional coverage of the city of Wilson’s Memorial Day program. If not for your outstanding coverage, many of Wilson’s veterans who could not be in attendance would not be able to truly appreciate how much the city of Wilson appreciates how our veterans who “gave all” for the defense of our great nation are truly honored and thanked for their sacrifice. Thank you for your professional and excellent coverage of our program before, during and after — we salute you.
To the Honorable C. Bruce Rose, mayor of the city of Wilson, we thank you for your heartfelt welcome, your continued support of the Committee on Patriotism and the job you do for our city. And to the new city clerk, Ms. Tonya West, and staff, you have hit the ground running. Bless you. Jamie Batts, I’m sure, is pleased at how you’ve received the baton and have not skipped a beat. Thank you, city of Wilson Communications Department for having Mr. Matt Shaw record our program. I trust all went well.
To our many program participants — you are the program and the reason for its success. Our guest speaker, Lance Cpl. Duncan Scott Mathis, again I say to you: “Welcome home!” You were magnificent. I believe in my heart that God held you in his hands and brought you back home. Your survival was nothing short of a miracle. God is not done with you yet; there is greatness in your future. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for you. Ms. Theresa Mathis, Wilson’s own human relations specialist, your mom who did that wonderful introduction, thank you for sharing Duncan with us all and especially for supporting his service to our country.
To our chaplain, James A. Faison, thank you for the excellent opening of our program with the minute of silence tribute to our beloved comrade and founding chairman of the city of Wilson Committee on Patriotism Eddie M. Price, and also to our member, Principal F.T. Franks, for the words of memorial appreciation for Eddie. Thank you, Mr. Willie Dupree, for the beautiful rendition of our national anthem on your saxophone — awesome!
To our program’s patriotic regulars, you are outstanding: The wreath presenters, Mrs. Becky Rose, first lady of the city of Wilson and vice president, American Legion Unit Auxiliary 13, and Ms. Jacqueline Phillips, president, American Legion Unit Auxiliary 17; our high schools’ Junior ROTCs, Fike, Hunt and Beddingfield, your uniform appearance was excellent. The same goes for our Wilson County Veterans Honor Guard and Rifle Team commanded by Mr. Taine Pyle, Marine Corps League, sponsored by American Legion Post 13, members of Disabled American Veterans, American Legion Post 13, the Marine Corps League and taps player Mr. Jerry Howell, American Legion Post 13.
We also thank the Legion Riders for their beautiful motorcycle display. And we thank our sound system tech, Mr. Alan Whitehead of Louie Alan Karaoke. Thank you, American Legion Post 13, for catering our refreshments. Thank you, city of Wilson Print Services for our programs, they are great. And we thank the county of Wilson for providing our relief stations.
All this said, what good is a program if no one attends? Thank you, veterans, citizens of Wilson, Daughters of the American Revolution members, visitors and friends.
We appreciate all who attended, and those who couldn’t but wanted to. May God continue to bless us all, and God bless the United States of America.
City of Wilson, your dedicated Committee on Patriotism: City Councilman Logan T. Liles, Edmund N. Costello, Morgan P. Dickerman III, Debra Grover Deaton, James Arthur Faison, F.T. Franks Jr., Jacqueline Y. Knight, Horace Goff, Lenwood Ward and E. Ray Chambers.
E. Ray Chambers
The writer is chairman of the Wilson Committee on Patriotism.