Gig Line: Memorial Day

Published 8:14 pm Sunday, May 28, 2023

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We’re on the cusp of another Memorial Day this Monday, May 29, 2023. It’s a day when so many of us unconsciously think about being off from work; planning a family cookout and/or shopping the sales from store to store … those are all good things, but only if we take the time first to consider what this annual holiday truly represents.

Memorial Day, initially named Decoration Day, is a day we remember those who have died serving our United States of America. When you think about it, it’s sad. It’s a day acknowledging all who lost their lives for our country, doing their duty in very challenging circumstances, facing death head-on and likely having suffered before their last breath. God bless our brave men and women who lost their lives never to see their loves ones again while fighting for our freedom, against oppression, communism and tyranny … God bless them all. Too often we get caught up in wishing others a “Happy Memorial Day” as if it is something to celebrate.

This very special day came about during the Civil War ending in 1865 to honor our incredibly brave and patriotic military personnel who died while serving. It is something we should all be cognizant of and thankful for at the same time. We have been a free country because we have had dedicated protectors throughout centuries stand between us and the demise of our greatness. I hope that all who have died in the battlefield, jungles, mountain tops, deserts and at sea felt our respect, our admiration, our pride in them before they drew their last breath. I can only hope.

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So when we’re out and about this weekend and we see a veteran, think just for a minute that it could have been them we honor as having sacrificed their life, or their best friends with whom they served that are no longer here and just say, “Thank you.” They are beautiful gems … they are precious stones, solid and perhaps hardened inside from their experiences in war and conflicts. God bless all our military, here at home and those deployed wherever they may be.

If you wish to attend any of the Memorial Day services this Monday, our Dare County schedule is as follows:

9 a.m. – Southern Shores Cemetery, 68 S. Dogwood Trail, Kitty Hawk

10 a.m. – Austin Cemetery, 4321 Rogers Street, Kitty Hawk

11 a.m. – Manteo, 300 Queen Elizabeth Ave. (downtown, Dare County Veterans Memorial)

11 a.m. – Nags Head Town Hall, 5401 S. Croatan Hwy.

12:30 p.m. – Kill Devil Hills, Dare County Veterans Memorial, Memorial Dr. off Colington Rd.

No doubt by this time most of you have seen our beautiful signs boasting our incredible event coming this November on the Outer Banks – The Wall That Heals. Signs have been established at the site of the Dairy Queen in Kill Devil Hills and at the midway intersection in Manteo. The design of the signs is well done with the very recognizable Vietnam Service Medal Ribbon depiction. It is the hope of the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council (The Wall That Heals – Committee) that the signs will encourage countless people, especially Vietnam veterans and their family members/friends, to attend the upcoming event. Though I’ve made numerous references about the dates in prior Gig Line columns, the schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 14: it is scheduled to arrive in Dare County through Manns Harbor and from the north end of Manteo before it heads east at Midway Intersection by CVS to the Nags Head Event Site.

Wednesday, Nov. 15: The Wall That Heals construction will begin. Once erected that day, the public is welcome to attend and because it will be lighted, everyone is welcome 24 hours a day

Thursday, Nov. 16: 10 a.m. Opening ceremony.

Friday, Nov. 17: Evening candlelight service honoring those veterans who have died since returning home from Vietnam.

Saturday, Nov. 18: No designated activities.

Sunday, Nov. 19: The wall will close down at 2 p.m. to prepare for departure.

The event will be free – no admission – and lighted at night, hence being open 24 hours a day until it closes down to leave our area.

One of our local Vietnam veterans told me recently that not only is he looking forward to attending The Wall That Heals, but that he plans to wear his U.S. Army Ranger uniform when he does. Personally, I look forward to seeing him in his uniform; he’s is a nice man who loves our country and he’s just written a book (arriving any day) about his service in Vietnam. I’ll be writing about it and how to go about ordering one in next week’s Gig Line. I have had the privilege to review it in his process of preparing to send it off to be published and I not only learned a lot but found it hard to put down – it’s that good!

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. Love on our veterans because they sure deserve it! For official help with filing a V.A. claim, getting a duplicate DD-214, etc., please contact Patty O’Sullivan, V.S.O. at office: (252) 475-5604; cell: (252) 473-7749 or email: patricia.o’ If you would like to read previous Gig Line columns, go to and if you just want to chat, call me on my cell: (252) 202-2058 or email me: I’ll be thinking of you all; thanking the Lord for each one of you and loving y’all from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all and everyone you love. Please pray for our country, our troops and our politicians to do the right thing in all the decisions they make for the good of our American families – first and foremost. Stay tuned!