For Memorial Day Services, be sure to arrive on Memorial Day by 7:45 a.m. We will, at that time, prepare to “raise the colors” promptly at 8 a.m. See you then.
Our Memorial is not a monument. It memorializes the service of both the living and the dead. Those that died in conflict or “peacefully” at home with family. But the stark reality of war and service is that soldiers fight because they are ordered to conflict. They volunteered by the millions at the start of World War I–they died each year in muddy trenches, a million each year.
It is the service to their country that our memorial honors. We hope that you will donate to our memorial, maybe even order a commemorative paver for a family member. We also hope that you will watch this reenactment video of Christmas 1914 when the guns fell silent and both sides shared Christmas together. One Christmas of peace, but a new year of trench warfare. This is how your great-grandfathers served their nation.
Our Veterans Memorial is not a “war” memorial. It honors the men and women who served their country in uniform from Revolutionary War days to our current conflicts. Thousands upon thousands of our citizens served overseas and on the home front. We hope you will visit our website often to learn about their contributions and their bravery.
We’ll highlight some of their efforts and the war efforts of the State of North Carolina. We’ll provide links to some of the many online educational and documentary resources on North Carolina Tarheels. We’ll write about Camp Butner in Butner and Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville. We’ll also share stories about P.O.W. Camps in our foothills and mountains. But, most of all, we’ll share stories about Orange County–especially the Navy’s Preflight Training (V-12) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Here’s a link to North Carolina’s World War I war efforts. Let’s start there.
A special ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I will be held at the site of the future Orange County Veterans Memorial on Monday, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m. Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs will be the guest speaker.
The memorial site is located at Southern Human Services Complex, 2501 Homestead Drive, Chapel Hill. Veterans and families of veterans are invited to attend the special ceremony.
We are starting Phase II very soon. This is the work around the flagpole are and walls.
Have you ordered your brick paver yet? They are 4×8 and 8×8″ and cost just $100 and $200, respectively. The 4-inch paver allows three lines of engraving, while the 8-inch paver has up to six lines of personalized engraving. Phase II pavers will be prominently displayed around the flagpole.
Donations toward the construction of our Veterans Memorial are also welcome. Learn More
Ranger Up Grappling Classic – 1st Annual Veterans Day Tournament
We are thrilled that the Ranger Up team is helping make our Orange County Memorial a reality by creating and hosting the 1st Annual Veterans Day Ranger Up Grappling Classic Tournament.
When, Where and Why?
It’s on November 10th at Chapel Hill High School – Chapel Hill, NC
Home of the NC Wrestling Regionals.
All proceeds go to the Orange County Veterans Memorial Fund
Youth Gi and Nogi Divisions
Adult Gi and Nogi Divisions
Entry into Absolute Divisions is included
Participants can weigh in the evening before or morning of the competition.
Friday night weigh-ins will take place: TBA
- What’s different from all the others?
Specialized Finals for Absolute matches (Have your walkout song picked…)
Military Branch Trophy – Who’s going to take it? Army? Navy? (….Coasties?!)
1st, 2nd, 3rd place awards
After Party! Clean Juice will be on site all day so you can grab some amazing açaí!
Clean Juice will be on site all day so you can grab some amazing açaí!
BJJ, Wrestling, Sambo, all grapplers welcome
In Association with the Town of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and Clean Juice.
Did you know that Chapel Hill was a preflight training station for Naval Aviators? Did you know that Horace Williams Air Field was used for flight training? And, Did you know that 18,700 young aviators graduated and then headed for advanced aviation training and the war? If you didn’t, you are not alone and this is why we are building the Orange County Veterans Memorial.
Orange County supported the war effort in many ways, but Naval Aviation and the Navy’s V-12 program was vital to our success at sea. Everyone who called Orange County their home as they participated in the V-12 program deserves recognition. We hope that family members and alumni will remember that and consider a memorial brick paver to honor one or more of them. Many never returned. Many were buried at sea. This is just one of those stories shared with you in a video.
It was during the Battle of Manila Bay on November 5th, 1944. Aviation Machinist Mate (Gunner) 2nd Class Loyce Edward Deen was the turret gunner in a TBF Avenger Aircraft. The mission was with Torpedo Squadron VT15, Air Group 15, off USS ESSEX (CV-9) for Battle of Manila Bay. His aircraft landed safely, but his gun and his seat were riveted with shell fire. His canopy was shattered and his body so tattered that it could not be removed. His fingerprints were recorded, his body covered with a shroud, and his TBF Avenger was taken aft and placed in honor at center on the tail-end of the flight deck.
The crew gathered for committal services and prayer, then the TBF Avenger was gently slid off the deck into the sea. Burial at sea was an all too common occurrence in battle, but this event was captured on film. AMM2 Deen has the distinction of being the only naval aviator buried at sea in his aircraft. It reminds us of the sacrifice made by the many Navymen and women, and, of course, Marines–many trained right here in Orange County. We share the video with you… We, local veterans and families of veterans, still remember the sacrifices of the many who did not return home. How can we possibly forget? Donate today.
We’ve noticed that some do not know that the American Flag or “National Ensign” is honored twice a day–all over the world. This is one of the very first things that a new recruit or officer candidate learns. The Army raises their flag at 0630 for Reveille, but the Navy raises or hoists their colors over every ship and station at 0800. Come join us on Memorial Day, May 28th, at 07:45 am and share in an American tradition–just one of many.
Be sure to be early so that you will be able to watch the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard prepare for the ceremony at about 07:45 am. They will loosen the lanyard and rig the flag for raising. They then stand at attention until exactly 08:00 am when the presiding officer calls out, “Attention to Colors!” and the bugler plays “To the Colors,” as the flag is briskly raised to the top and then lowered to Half Staff to honor Memorial Day. Everyone remains at “Attention” until the last note is sounded and then hears, “Two” signaling completion of honors.
Your sense of pride should, by then, be welling up inside. What you have just witnessed is done at every military installation and on every U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ship around the world. If you have someone serving today, know that they are doing the very same thing somewhere. It is a time-honored, sacred tradition. Learn more
The Blue Knights, North Carolina Chapter X, is joining us as Rally Event Marshals and they have invited Riders from Orange and neighboring counties to join them for our remembrance event. The Blue Knights are our men and women in blue (law enforcement officers) who join together to honor fallen officers and to help support worthy causes. We expect more than 200 riders and friends.
With riders come flags and motorcycles! That signals a “Rally Tour.” You will know when it starts as you see the riders head for their motorcycles and mount them to the sound of kickstands snapping upwards and the hum or rumble of pure power waiting to thrust forward toward the open road and a one hour tour of beautiful Orange County. You’ll stand by the roadway in awe and be wishing you were joining them. If you have a motorcycle, you can. Everyone is invited to join in on the “Tour.”
Riders will parade from our Homestead Road site toward Efland, Hillsborough, and stops in between. Then they will continue on their ride through picturesque back roads of Orange County. They will eventually arrive at the American Legion Chapel Hill Post 6 (1714 Legion Road) at about 10 am. You are welcome to head there to meet them and wave them in.
The American Legion is hosting their Annual Open House and Memorial Day Celebration. Maple View Ice Cream will be there with their mobile trailer. The Post will have historical memorabilia on display at 10 am, a memorial service at 11 am, and a Village Band Concert at 12:30 pm. Hot dogs and a beverage will be served by Boy Scout Troop 805 and is funded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
So, what are you doing on Memorial Day? Should it not start and end with a remembrance event that is family oriented? An event that you will participate in and leave with a strong sense of pride in your community and our rich history. Bring your kids. Bring the grandchildren. Make this event a family tradition–your family tradition.
Please help us share the word about this special event. Share a copy of our event flyer or share this page on FaceBook and Twitter.
- Motorcycle Rally Tour Event Flyer
- Event Schedule
- Related Events
- Memorial Site Map
- Donations to the Orange County Veterans Memorial
- Memorial Paver Ordering
- Orange County Veterans Memorial on Facebook
Orange County has proudly supplied our men and women to serve their nation during times of war or conflict. Our first call to arms was in the fall of 1775, when the Orange County Militia was established on September 9, 1775. Our fledgling militia faced its first battle at Moore’s Creek Bridge near Wilmington in February 1776.
Now, more than 240 years later, the residents and friends of Orange County will recognize and honor their service with the Orange County Veterans Memorial.
The memorial site is flat and is at the crest of a hill across from the Southern Orange County Human Services Center on Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. Walking paths now exist from the Seymour Center. It is also easily accessible by car or by using Chapel Hill Transit. There is ample parking and it is wheelchair accessible.
Veterans groups from throughout the county have joined with the Veterans Memorial Committee to sponsor and raise money for the memorial. Orange County has joined with them to provide the site and support. Now we need you and your support.
We all know the importance of recognition for service. Our seniors often reflect on the service that they have provided to our towns, villages, county and country. We have not, however, joined together to build a significant memorial to honor our county veterans.
“My vision is to have the residents of our county design, build and fund a Veterans Memorial that we would be proud to say, ‘We did this ourselves. From our dimes to dollars grew this memorial to our veterans,’ ” said Lee Heavlin, Veterans Committee member and career navy man.
How can you help? You can donate today to the Veterans Memorial Fund. The memorial committee needs funds to continue design work and to prepare for the memorial. Ground breaking may be as soon as Veterans Day 2016, but donations and major pledges are needed now to make that possible.
Donating is as easy as visiting the memorial website and submitting your donation by credit card. All donations are accepted for the memorial by the Orange County Community Giving Fund and are tax deductible. Visit http://orangecountyveteransmemorial.com/donations to make a donation and to learn more.
You can also help by sharing the project with friends, civic groups and clubs, churches and schools as a community service fundraising project. Create the excitement that will make funding the project easier. The Veterans Committee can provide members to speak at your group. For assistance, contact Lee Heavlin, committee member and Fundraising Chair, at 919-260-6571.
Expected cost is about $500,000 for the memorial and memorial perpetual fund. Visit the memorial website for project history and more details.
To donate, visit the Orange County Community Giving Fund site, register and then select Veterans Memorial. Yes, the Community Giving Fund is a 501(3)(c) organization.