Flags are placed on the graves of an estimated 4,000 veterans—spanning 150 years—as Evergreen Burial Park highlights the War on Terror in the Middle East this Memorial Day weekend.
Saturday, May 27, beginning at 10 a.m., the observance program will remember the fallen veterans of all wars, foreign and domestic, at the space shuttle Challenger flagpole near the east gate.
The featured speaker will be Paul “Chip” McCauley, USMC retired. Chip McCauley enlisted in the Marines as a 17-year-old, and he retired as a First Sergeant due to an injury in his 18th year of service to our country.
McCauley was present on October 23, 1983, at the largest fatal bomb detonation in US military history, which claimed 241 lives. He spent his career fighting the War on Terror in the Middle East, taking two tours of Fallujah, and accompanied the casket of one of his buddies back to the States on a C-130 “Angel Flight,” performing what he saw as his solemn and sacred duty to a fallen comrade. McCauley has fashioned a three-string guitar out of a cigar box and pays tribute to the fallen through his music. Memorial Day, to him, is a day to honor those lives left behind in the defense of democracy.
In preparation for the Saturday observance, the VFW Post 1264, the Good Samaritan Hospice volunteers, and the Patrick Henry High School Junior ROTC placed Memorial Day flags at Evergreen Burial Park Veteran’s graves on Tuesday, May 23.
Don Wilson, president of Evergreen Memorial Trust, said, “Memorial Day—celebrating those lost in all wars—is the largest of our annual events.” Gary Duerk will play taps at the ceremony, and Civil War re-enactors will fire a volley.
Evergreen Burial Park is located between the Wasena and Raleigh Court neighborhoods in southwest Roanoke City. 1307 Summit Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA 24105