Memorial Day in the High Country

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: May. 22 | Modified: May. 27
Memorial Day in the High Country

America’s independence is an ongoing battle that began with the country’s first patriots during the Revolutionary War and is constantly protected by our vigilant armed forces.

To pay tribute to those brave men and women, the nation remembers those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with Memorial Day.

The Mountain Times has compiled a list of special programs and services to honor fallen service members and those still serving.

Memorial Day Music

The Watauga Community Band will perform its annual Memorial Day Concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 25, at the Rosen Concert Hall in the Hayes School of Music on the campus of Appalachian State University.

The band, under the direction of Bill Winkler, will honor fallen service men and women, with musical pieces, including “Armed Forces Salute,” arranged by Bob Lowden, and “Mansions of the Lord,” by Randall Wallace.

The band will also perform “Each Time You Tell Their Story,” a poem written by Dr. Samuel J. Hazo and set to music by his son, Samuel R. Hazo.

The concert is free, and all are welcome to attend.

Memorial Day Ceremonies

The High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America has extended a special invitation to the general public for its Memorial Day program from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 26, at the Boone Mall.

The program will begin at 10:30 a.m., with a medley of patriotic music played by the Watauga Community Band, followed by the main program at 10:45 a.m. A special program will be performed by “Generation eXcellence,” depicting through songs, skits and costumes some historic events of American history.

Appalachian State University will host a Memorial Day ceremony and reception Monday, May 26, at 7:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial, located adjacent to the Dougherty Administration Building on campus.

Because of construction in the administration building, the reception featuring breakfast foods will be held outdoors. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony and reception will be held in Plemmons Student Union’s Solarium.

Color Blast 5K

Many crisis intervention agencies agree that the invisible face of homelessness is now taking the form of veterans coming home after gallantly serving our public.

According to a joint report conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, veterans now make up 10 percent of the homeless population and 16 percent of all homeless adults.

This growing trend has become more apparent in the years following 9/11. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, approximately 12,700 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn were homeless as of 2010.

Compounding the issue locally is Watauga County’s poverty rate (29 percent), which is the third highest statewide.

The issue of homelessness and its impact on veterans will be in the forefront of the minds of runners at this year’s Color Blast 5K, sponsored by Hospitality House and Western Youth Network.

The run/walk will begin at 4 p.m. and will take place at the Clawson-Burnley Park and Greenway Trail on Memorial Day, May 26.

The 5K is a bit more colorful and spectator-involved than other long-distance races in the area.

The idea behind the race is to tie-dye each runner’s shirt. A “fun run” will be held for children younger than 12 years of age at 6 p.m. Participants can also enjoy a photo booth to capture the fun, face-painting, goodies from Earth Fare and frozen yogurt from Menchie’s.

The early registration fee is $25 for adults and $10 for kids younger than 12. On-site registration free is $30 for adults and $15 for children.

The color fun run is $5 and limited to children. For more information, contact Brittany Johnson at (828) 264-1237.

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