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Memorial Day marked by sparse turnouts
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 16:48

From Staff Reports

 Memorial Day ceremonies drew relatively sparse turnouts in Asheville and Black Mountain on May 28.

A ceremony held near the Veterans Memorial in Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville — jointly hosted by the city and Buncombe County — drew about 150 people to a mid-afternoon program.

Earlier in the day, dozens reportedly gathered at the WNC State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, where about 4,400 people, including spouses, are buried.

“I think those who die in war want us to know that they died for us,” retired Navy Capt. Kenneth Vasilik told the crowd. “They simply want us to remember them. And this Memorial Day, we do remember thm and that they did not die in vain.”

Vasilik recounted the sacrifice of the 160 men who died during the sinking of the USS Asheville off the south coast of Java on March 3, 1942 during World War II,

He said that when news of the sinking reached Asheville in August, 132 local men volunteered for the Navy to syumbolically replace the lost crew.

At Black Mountain, a flock of white doves, which soared over the white grave markers. Andy Clark, a U.S. Air Force veteran, said those who lost their lives in serving the country are remembered by veterans every day.



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