JONESVILLE — The overcast weather Sunday didn’t stop the residents of Jonesville from celebrating Memorial Day. The Mineral Springs Park and War Memorial experienced a small but loyal turnout on a dreary looking Sunday afternoon for the Jonesville Memorial Day Program. Some residents came out with their lawn chairs to enjoy a program of gospel music and remembrance of the nation’s fallen soldiers and the veterans of Jonesville.
“Every year, on the fourth Monday of May on Memorial Day, we honor the men and women who have died in military service or as a result of injuries received during battles to protect our lives, our property, and our freedom,” said Judy Wolfe of the Jonesville Historical Society.
Wolfe gave some history on the Mineral Springs Park and the War Memorial.
“As beautiful as this area is, this place was once a junkyard dump area,” said Wolfe. “We removed I can’t tell you how many dump-truck loads of debris. Many residents, many of you, with your rakes and your shovels and your axes cut out and hauled off the debris because this is sacred ground. This place has been used before the Revolutionary War.”
Mayor Gene Pardue stepped up to the podium to welcome everybody to the ceremony.
“This Memorial Day is a special tribute to our veterans,” said Pardue. “Many of our veterans came home to a hero’s welcome and many did not come home at all and gave their lives for duty and love for the country here we enjoy every day. It’s our obligation and privilege to honor and remember the courageous sacrifice of these brave men and women, living and dead. We applaud their bravery and express our thanks and never forget what they did for us. Without them, nobody would know the freedom we hold today.”
Janet Hays gave a prayer and invocation and afterwards the National Anthem was sung by members of the Praise Team from Wesley Chapel and Piney Grove Church with an interpretive signing by Stephanie Collines. Young Brody Faulkner led the ceremony in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Praise Team then sang a couple of gospel songs in a musical interlude.
House Honor Guard member Grady Prevette was unable to attend the meeting for his speech so the program was forced to carry on without him. Wolfe did mention that Prevette had lost half his knee in the past due to illness and he may have been having trouble with it that day. She spoke strongly about Prevette’s services to the U.S.
“The man has paid a tremendous service to our nation,” said Wolfe. “He served under the Ronald Reagan administration and was in the White House Honor Guard and a member of the Honor Guard who served and laid the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. He’s with the rest of us who has lost loved ones as a result of combat and injuries.”
The honoring of soldiers commenced with the ringing of the war memorial bell by veteran Charles Mathis. The bell was rung for every major U.S. war and in recognition of all the troops, friends, and family members who had died in combat. The program closed out with a final song from the Praise Team and a blessing before departure.
“My husband and my son retired from armed forces so I was in the middle of it,” said Virginia Wagoner. “A lot of people have worked so hard on this event. It’s really good for the memory because these grounds have a lot of history. There use to be a machine shop here that used to send the weapons that they made down the Yadkin River. I loved the singing. It brings people together to learn about our history. It also reminds us of the freedom we have.”
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058 or at [email protected]