Crowds return for New Bern Memorial Day ceremony

In-person memorials held across Eastern Carolina
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 7:56 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - A day meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect this country, is being celebrated in-person for the first time since the pandemic began in Eastern Carolina.

Marines marched in formation through the New Bern National Cemetery late Monday morning for the occasion - sights and sounds that many Craven County military families hadn’t seen in nearly two years. It brought a sense of normalcy many like Thelma Ware had longed for.

Since 1991, attending Memorial Day services has been a tradition in her family. Ware observes the holiday for her son, Bobby Maurice Ware, who lost his life in the line of duty during Operation Desert Storm.

“He joined the military to help support me and his brother,” Ware said. “And he said, ‘Mama I’m going to help you out,’ but never did I know that he would never come back.”

Ware wore a pin with her son’s picture on it when he was a child to the memorial. It served as a way to remind her that her son was watching over her during the ceremony.

“You never get over something like this,” Ware said. That’s exactly why we celebrate Memorial Day: so the fallen will never be forgotten.

Ware’s family is a Gold Star family, which is an honor given to families of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of conflict.

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