It is with great sadden that we share with you the loss of Mark Sumner, a long time member of both the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other veterans and service groups.
Mark was a strong supporter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9100, attending many of our special civic events, promoting post member events and trips, and so much more. He has been a pillar of strength to our post and will be very much missed. Mark was also the recipient of France’s distinguished medal, The Legion of Honor.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough. Burial with military honors will follow in the church cemetery.
The family will receive visitors Monday evening from 5-7 pm at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home, 1113 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701. Memorials may be directed St.. Matthew’s Memorial Fund, the Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre, 301 Drama Road, Snow Camp, NC 27349, or to American Legion Post No. 6, P.O. Box 2323, Chapel Hill, NC 27515.
Please wear your VFW Cap to the funeral or viewing. Let the family know that his comrades are there.
After the funeral, I will share with you photos of Mark in action with veterans. I will also add him to the list of distinguished local veterans on this site and on the Orange County Veterans Memorial website at http:/www.orangecountyveteransmemorial.com.
You are invited to the “WAIT UNTIL THE KIDS SEE THIS!“: SERVICE AND LEARNING FROM NC TO NORMANDY
The screening will be held at the Seymour Center on Friday, December 18, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST). The Seymour Center is located at 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Nearly seven decades after landing on the Normandy coastline on June 6, 1944 with the aim to liberate France, two veterans returned to those same beaches. Rather than fighting the entrenched German army, these two 92-year old men found nearly 100,000 waving flags and clapping hands of support. As world leaders took the stage to articulate their appreciation and awe at the achievement of that day, both men sat in wheelchairs squeezing the hands of current servicemen, sharing tokens of faith and thanks, and praising the next generation of young people.
This story follows the efforts and dedication of two generations of young people – the men who fought in service of our country on the beaches of Normandy in 1944, and the students who created the opportunity for them to return 70 years later. Please join us in celebrating this story of unparalleled bravery and service at the debut screening of “Wait Until the Kids See This!”: Service and Learning from North Carolina to Normandy – and how we can transfer these lessons to learning and classrooms today. This project was possible due to the generous support of the Oak Foundation.
Sign up now to reserve a seat. Just click on Attend Event button.
A Chapel Hill Middle School French language teacher brought language to life by taking a group of eighth grade students to France and the beaches of Normandy. We found out about her project this year as she prepares to take a group of East Chapel Hill High School students back to France for the 70th and final annual commemoration ceremony at the American Cemetery in Normandy.
Here is part of her story as she shared the goals of this year’s project. “I am a middle school teacher in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who has traveled to the American Cemetery in Normandy with thirty students since 2009. My students stay with families in Liege, Belgium, but an important piece of history, sacrifice and honor, is best learned when they walk Omaha Beach, visit the American Cemetery, and imagine the effects of war at Pointe du Hoc. While in Belgium, my students also visit Henri Chapelle and discuss the impact of WWII in French with their host families.
A group of six students, who are now juniors in high school ( 17 years old), would like to return to Normandy and volunteer to help with the 70th D-Day celebration. They are students who traveled with me in 2011 and who have a deep interest in honoring our veterans. These incredible young people have had relatives and close friends fight in WWII and another hopes to be a history teacher and travel abroad with students. All these students are doing very well in school, have achieved numerous honors and speak French well. Would you have any opportunities for them to volunteer for this event?” Robin McMahon,French teacher/ Smith Middle School, Chapel Hill, NC.
The students were invited to our post dinner meeting in February and they were greeted and welcomed by veterans from all conflicts going back to World War II. They met an Iwo Jima survivor, an Army Scout from the the Battle of the Bulge, Korean War vets, Vietnam Vets, Iraqi Freedom vets and more. They shared their project and our vets shared some of their experiences, life stories, and what they do now. They were eager listeners and so were we.
Our army scout and Battle of the Bulge survivor is Mark Sumner. Mark was awarded the French Legion of Honour in 2008. He is also a candidate to join the students as their guest to France where he will be able to attend the commemorative ceremonies. The students are raising funds so that they can take several D-Day participants with them, to include some veterans who fought in France.
These students, and their teacher, touched our hearts and we were honored to be able to assist them with their project. We donated $500, but we also decided to assist them as they reached out to local businesses and citizens as they told their story and sought financial support.
We will follow the students as they prepare for their journey, travel in France, and create their stories and presentations on return. We are very proud of these young students. We hope you are, too. For more information and to contribute, visit their website at: http://gettingtoknoweurope.org/nc-to-normandy/