There is a gentle wind blowing in Chapel Hill. It is community interest in remembering its citizen soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have served their country.
We now honor veterans with a collage of plaques, statues and signs. But, where are the memorials? Where do you go on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, or other time when you want to pay homage to veterans?
“Where have all the flowers gone? … Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards every one.” These are familiar words from a popular 1961 Kingston Trio ballad. Our question is, “Where do we go to place flowers, to sit, to reflect, to remember, to think of our citizen soldiers?”
On Veterans Day weekend in 2008, VFW members were giving away Buddy Poppies in downtown Chapel Hill. A lady and her daughter came up to George Walker and other vets and asked a similar question, “Where are the Veterans in Chapel Hill?” Her husband was serving in Iraq at the time and she said that she rarely saw veterans or things for veterans in Chapel Hill.
Well, we are here. Some are members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Marine Corps Association, Disabled American Veterans, and many, many more groups. But, not every veteran is part of an organized veterans group. There are more than 792,000 veterans in North Carolina in 2010. That is almost ten percent of our state’s population!
So, where have all our veterans gone? Odds are that he or she is your neighbor, your doctor, your auto mechanic, a UNC undergrad or graduate student, your grocer, your banker, …. Yet, we have nothing in our town to recognize them. We support a Chapel Hill Veterans Memorial in downtown Chapel Hill. What do you think?
Follow News Stories on the Memorial
Take a look at published news stories and web articles on the proposed Veterans Memorial at Chapel Hill.