Veterans to Assemble at Memorial
Members of the Moore County Veterans Memorial Committee expect several hundred at the memorial in Carthage Saturday for the annual Veterans Day observance.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on the memorial grounds.
"Each year on Veterans Day we honor all who served," said Raymond Doby, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee. "(We recognize) those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and those who came home from war to build a life and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our country. The Moore County Veterans Memorial was built to honor all who served."
The keynote speaker for the Veterans Day ceremony will be retired U.S. Marine. Col. Peter A. Dotto. He spent 28 years in the Marine Corps, from April 1969 until his retirement in July 1998. After leaving active duty, he served as a consultant for the Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the FBI and the State Department.
"I will be discussing the history of Veterans Day and what the day means," Dotto said. "I spoke at the Marine Corps event last year, and was asked to give an address at the memorial this year."
Dotto said he will "touch on" the controversy that is presently surrounding the memorial but will not dwell on those events.
"The day is about the veterans, and not about politics," he said.
At issue is whether or not county-owned land adjacent to the memorial should be subject to development or preserved as a buffer to the memorial from a possible Bojangles' restaurant that may be located next to the site. Veterans have sought to halt development, and the county Board of Commis-sioners has set up a joint committee with veterans to discuss the site's future.
At Saturday's event, the "Baghdad Bad Boys" will sing the national anthem, and the Union Pines NJROTC will retire the colors. The Union Pines Band will begin playing music at 9:30 a.m.
In conjunction with the observance, American Legion Riders Post No. 72 will host a "Ride for Veterans" event that will begin immediately after the memorial ceremony concludes. Proceeds from the ride will benefit both the memorial fund and will finance care packages sent to deployed service members.
Rora Kellis, adjutant for Post No. 72, is organizing the event.
"We have a 109.1-mile route mapped out that will basically encompass the boundaries of Moore County," he said. "We will first ride to the Legion headquarters in Aberdeen, where we will enjoy a hot dog lunch, and then embark on a comfortable, 90-mile ride through the country.
"We will cross every major artery in the county, making it easy for anyone to leave the group if need be. Everyone is welcome to join us, by motorcycle or car, and we will gladly accept donations for anyone who chooses not to ride with us."
Fees are $15 per rider or $20 for a rider with a passenger. Registration for the ride will begin at 9 a.m.
"Proceeds from the ride will be used to sponsor names on the wall of veterans for those who cannot afford the $30 cost and sponsorship of troops currently serving overseas through Operation North State," Kellis said.
Money raised for the ride will also go toward care packages provided by Operation North State, a nonprofit organization that supports deployed troops.
Grilled chicken sandwiches and barbecue will be provided for free by the Southern Pines VFW Post 7318 at the memorial event. Aberdeen Coca-Cola will provide drinks.
For more information, contact Doby at (910) 245-7704. More "Ride for Veterans" information is at http://alp72. embarqspace.com.
A separate Veterans Day observance will take place at 11 a.m. Monday at the Pinehurst Village Hall. Because of erroneous information supplied to The Pilot, the date was wrong in a story in Wednesday's edition.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or jlentz@thepilot. com.
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