Posts for Tag : Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery

Flag Placement and Events – Memorial Day  0

Ed and Karen Gill place flags
Ed and Karen Gill place flags

Memorial Day ceremonies are a tradition with the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Our Post, C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 9100, does more than a solitary event on Memorial Day.  We start with flag placement at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery on Saturday, May 28th, 2016.


Post members, American Legionnaires, Boy Scouts and local citizens join together at 6:30 a.m. to place flags on all identifiable veteran graves.

We invite you to attend to observe or participate.  If you have a family member buried at the cemetery, we can provide you with a flag for placement.

At 8 a.m. on Saturday the post will conduct a traditional Memorial Day Remembrance ceremony.  Prayers, a narrative of the history of Memorial Day, and a reading of the original holiday General Order will precede the sounding of TAPS.  This service will be repeated on Monday, May 30th, the official holiday.


Parents are encouraged to have their kids attend the Saturday services.  It will put meaning back into a “super sale” day at local shopping centers. Come early and watch the placement of flags and the early morning sun illuminate the cemetery with the first rays of sunlight.  It will bring you back each year.


Participating veterans are encouraged to join the Post for a Saturday no-host breakfast at 9 a.m. at Bob Evans Restaurant.  It is just up US 15-501 at I-85.


Sometimes we miss a grave, because the family did not order a grave marker from the VA and there are nothing tells us that a veteran is buried at a grave.  Grave markers for veterans are provided free of charge to a family for their veteran.  We can assist families with getting a headstone, surface stone, or the new medallion for a family stone.  Learn more


VFW placed flags remain in position from Saturday to about Tuesday, May 31th.

Download (PDF, 1.06MB)

Remembering Others on Memorial Day

There is no greater feeling than that felt upon hearing another veteran or member of our post share their positive experiences at a post commemorative event.  We sometimes wonder if we are making a difference.   Not today.  We were all lifted up by what we shared as we remembered the fallen.

Bugler Memorial Day 2014This is what Rusty Edmister wrote today to his friends, “My VFW Post put flags by the tombstones of veterans in the Chapel Hill ceremony this morning.  It was a beautiful morning, and our mission was to simply remember and honor those who served ahead of us, with us, and after us.  If you get the chance between now and Monday afternoon, drive by or walk through a cemetery with its flags waving and consider that we are alive and owe it to our comrades to respect and honor them by remembering the invest they made in our country.”

About 50 people joined together at the cemetery.  There were local scouts, American Legionnaires, other veterans, and local folk.  Everyone chipped in to place a flag, read aloud the veteran’s name, and render a salute.  Some escorted older members and assisted in flag placement.  New stories and memories were in the making and a sense of service and pride was in the air.

Time Warner Cable News arrived at 6 am and reported live from the cemetery.  Chapel Hill News (News and Observer) and The Chapel Hill Herald also sent reporters.  Chapel Hill WCHL Radio was also on site with their photographer reporting for  It was an emotional event for the reporters.  They watched, listened, and learned.  They asked questions and were moved by the veterans and scouts as each shared a story of the meaning of Memorial Day or their participation.

Time Warner Central North Carolina news reporter Amy Elliott spoke of the sounds heard as veterans walked the path and among the stones.  She reported on the emotions expressed and the solemnness of our mission.  Amy also shared with viewers our dedication to the memory of those who are buried in Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.  Shopping for a new car, a suit, a new mattress or other “thing on sale” was the least of things on our mind.  All were there to show their appreciation to the millions of servicemen and women who died on active duty in service of their country…one flag, on one grave, and reading aloud one name at a time.  View the story

They decorated more than 450 graves with the flag of their country.  Most returned home safely, but we honor them, too, because they served and fought alongside those who did not return.

  • Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw
  • The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  • If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow, In Flanders fields.  (from In Flanders Fields, by John McCrea

May all who rest in our town know that we have not forgotten them, nor did we fail to decorate their graves for Memorial Day.

We return to the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 26th, at 8 am for a repeat memorial ceremony.  All are invited to join us.

The American Legion will have an Open House on Monday starting at 10 am, with a memorial service at 11 am, and the Village Band in concert at 1 pm.

The News and Observer  published a story on upcoming local Memorial Day events.  Read story

Decorating Chapel Hill Graves  0

Placing flags on the graves of veterans at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery is one of the more important events during Memorial Day weekend.  Memorial Day itself is on the final day of a three-day weekend.  We make sure the graves are decorated for all three days of the holiday weekend.

Inline image 1Rising early in the morning to place flags on graves, just as the sun is rising, is special to us.  We have a lot of photos where the sun has created some pretty interesting shots.  There are  also a lot of photos that show older men standing taller.  There are  pictures of kids saluting as they place a flag.  Many are now young adults.
We also have pictures of members of the post who are now no longer with us, but who shared this honor for years.  Carl Fritz, George Walker, Dan Murphy, Gil Montoya Sr., Hugh Westray, Jason Maynor, Harland Cornell,  Larry Jakes, Proctor Ely, Paul Trageser Sr., Charles Hodson, Ray Benson, Hubert Crabtree, Robert Blackwood, and others come to mind.
While others are rising on Saturday to head to the beach, go shopping for a car or a new mattress, or any one of a number of busy things that can wait, we assemble to honor the dead.
They are the citizens of our town who went to war.  Some came home with an escort.  Some came home with a duffel bag on their shoulder and a smile on their face, as they saw family once again.  Some came to Chapel Hill many years later.  All came to stay.  It is for these men and women that we rise early on Saturday to decorate their graves.
Each identified veteran’s grave will be located, a flag placed above the stone, their name read aloud or silently, and a silent salute of honor made.  We, the men and women of the Veterans of Foreign Wars C.V. Cummings Chapel Hill  Post 9100 have returned to honor them once again.  So long as there are two or more of us, or even just one lone veteran, we shall continue this tradition.
If you have not joined your comrades, soldiers, shipmates, Marines and airmen at the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery, please join us.  We will muster at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26th, for our early morning working party.  At 8 a.m. we will hold an honors memorial ceremonial as we rededicate ourselves to service and remembrance of our fallen heroes.  How is it said?  “The character of a nation can be measured by the way that nation treats its veterans.” and respects its fallen heroes.
All local veterans groups are invited to join us.  Local Boy Scouts from Troops 835 and 505 will join us.  Some for the first time, others to continue their tradition of honoring the dead of Chapel Hill.
We will also be joined by others from Chapel Hill.  Some come to help with the flags, some to attend the ceremony, and some come to tend to the graves of family and friends.
Please wear sharp attire and your VFW or American Legion cap.  Members of the Speakers’ Bureau should bring their blazers.  NC-14 News has notified the post that they will return again this year to do a live broadcast from the cemetery.  A reporter will arrive just as we do and start interviews.
The broadcast truck will join the reporter and set up for the live news feed at about 6:45.  NC-14 News will interview a number of participants.  Veterans from all conflicts will be represented in the interviews.  If you are a current conflict veteran, you are especially invited to do an interview.  If you would like to be interviewed, you will be.  You will speak on behalf of those interred.  You are their voice.  You continue their legacy and you now represent those called to their final muster.