The Asheville-Buncombe Memorial Day Ceremony will again be held as a virtual ceremony this year due to safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The keynote speaker will be USMC veteran John Mason, who was awarded two purple hearts and a bronze star medal for valor during his time in Vietnam, 1968 to 1969, as an Infantry First Lieutenant with the United States Marine Corps.

A longtime Asheville lawyer, Mason helped form Veterans Treatment Court in Buncombe County, as well as North Carolina Veterans Writing Alliance Foundation, a 501 (C)(3) dedicated to the healing of veterans who have served their country.

The ceremony, planned by the City of Asheville Mayor’s Committee for Veterans Affairs and Buncombe County Veterans Council, will be streamed live from Asheville City Hall. Tune into the City of Asheville’s YouTube channel at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.

The Program

Introductory remarks: U.S. Air Force veteran Alllan Perkal, Vietnam, Master of Ceremony, Chair Buncombe County Veterans Council; Board of Directors, Vietnam Veterans of America, North Carolina State Council.

National Anthem: Ric Ledford, USMC

Pledge of Allegiance: Steve Henderson, USMC, Vietnam

Greeting from City of Asheville and Buncombe County: Esther E. Mannheimer, Mayor, City of Asheville; Brownie Newman, Chair, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners

Presenter: Dr. Angela Williams, Acting Director, Charles George VA Medical Center

Keynote Speaker: Asheville Attorney John Mason.

Readings from Brothers and Sisters Like These: A Veterans writing group that promotes healing the wounds of war.

Closing remarks:

Allan Perkal, Master of Ceremony.

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