Here is a photo gallery by Johnnie Daniels/The Dillon Herald of the Dillon County Memorial Day service:
By Betsy Finklea
The annual Memorial Day ceremony was held on Monday, May 29, at Veterans Square at the Dillon City-County Complex.
The welcome and opening remarks were given by Major General (Ret.) James E. Lockemy. He stressed the importance of remembering those who lost their lives in service to the country.
Rev. Mike Summerlin, pastor of Manning Chapel and Oakland United Methodist churches, gave the invocation and said we should honor the men and women who bravely gave all.
Following the invocation, Lynn Bowman sang the national anthem.
MSgt. (Ret.) Terry Morris and Seaman Tony Peele raised the U.S. flag and POW/MIA flags and CSM (Ret.) George Pullie and SFC (Ret.) Harry Moore raised the South Carolina flag. The flags were raised to the top and lowered to half staff.
CPO (Ret.) Anthony Ford led the Pledge of Allegiance.
MG (Ret.) Lockemy introduced the guest speaker, CSM (Ret.) Patrick A. McBride, Sr. He is a native of Dillon County and a 1985 Dillon High School graduate. He currently lives in Lumberton and serves as the Senior Army instructor at Fairmont High School.
He began by thanking Famon Whitfield, a local educator, who he said taught him a great deal about himself. He said they were here to honor those who gave their lives in defense of freedom. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and became a federal holiday in 1971.
McBride said they need to pass on the traditions to the next generation and the importance of being part of something greater than oneself.
Over 144 names were read of the deceased veterans by MG (Ret.) Lockemy in the Tribute to the Fallen. The bell was tolled after the reading of each name by Valerie Graves of the VA Office.
A three-volley rifle salute honoring the fallen was given by Sgt. Gene Alford, Sgt. Anthony Fraley, and Sgt. Raymond Mack.
The memorial wreath was placed by MSgt. (Ret.) Morris and Seaman Peele. Taps was played by James Leslie of the Honor Guard.
Rep. Jackie Hayes presented a resolution on behalf of the Dillon County Delegation to retiring VA Officer Jerry Huggins in recognition of his 20 years of outstanding service. Huggins said it has been a “labor of love” and thanked everyone for their support.
Following the presentation, the benediction was given by Rev. Summerlin.