Because of the continued need for physical distance posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Asheville-Buncombe Memorial Day Ceremony will again be held as a virtual ceremony.
The keynote speaker will be USMC Veteran John Mason, who was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star Medal for Valor during his time in Vietnam 1968 to 1969 as an Infantry First Lieutenant with the United States Marine Corps. A longtime Asheville lawyer, Mason helped form Veterans Treatment Court in Buncombe County as well as North Carolina Veterans Writing Alliance Foundation, a 501 (C)(3), dedicated to the healing of Veterans who have served their country.
The ceremony, planned in concert by the City of Asheville Mayor’s Committee for Veterans Affairs and Buncombe County Veterans Council, will be streamed live from Asheville City Hall. Tune into the City of Asheville’s YouTube channel at 11 a.m. Memorial Day, May 31, to view the ceremony live in real time. Following the ceremony, it will be archived for later viewing on the City’s YouTube channel.
Expected to last about 50 minutes, the ceremony will serve in place of both the City and the State Veterans Cemetery in-person events. There will be no attendees other than the individuals with active roles in the program. The program will consist of the following:
Introductory remarks: US Air Force Veteran Alllan Perkal, Vietnam, Master of Ceremony, Chair Buncombe County Veterans Council; Board of Directors, Vietnam Veterans of America, North Carolina State Council.
National Anthem: Ric Ledford, USMC
Pledge of Allegiance: Steve Henderson, USMC, Vietnam
Greeting from City of Asheville and Buncombe County: Esther E. Mannheimer, Mayor, City of Asheville; Brownie Newman, Chair, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners
Presenter: Dr. Angela Williams, Acting Director, Charles George VA Medical Center
Keynote Speaker: Asheville Attorney John Mason, who served his Country in Vietnam 1968 to 1969 as an Infantry First Lieutenant with the United States Marine Corps.
Readings from Brothers and Sisters Like These: A Veterans writing group that promotes healing the wounds of war.
Closing remarks: Allan Perkal, Master of Ceremony
The City of Asheville and Buncombe County encourage all residents to tune in to this virtual Memorial Day Ceremony in remembrance of the fallen, those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.