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Honoring Veterans with the Massing of the Colors


For the past 15 years, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wilmington has hosted the Massing of the Colors, a very special veterans day ritual. A overwhelming sense of American pride filled the church.

“This is the day we can thank veterans for what they have done,” said Lt. Col. Gary Greene.

“I have never missed one of these. I also think of several friends that did not make it home,” added World War II veteran Tanky Meier.

Veterans and their families sang, prayed, and talked about the history of the Massing of the Colors.

“After World War I, the folks that were part of General Pershing’s Army decided that they needed to have somebody who could recall how bad things were in that war, and they decided to get an organization together called the Military Order of the World Wars,” said Green, a veteran of the Air Force.

The program allowed veterans to come together with their unit flags and American flags to commemorate the good things that came out of the war. Thus, the Massing of the Colors.

Delivering the Veterans Day address was Carolina Beach native Col. Jeri Graham, a 24-year Army veteran.

“Every day is an important day to thank a service member for what they do, what they have done, to serve this nation,” said Graham. “I’m very proud to be part of that brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Col. Graham knows many people who work at the hospital in Fort Hood. She commended their bravery. “I think in tragedy certainly what we have seen out there is how people pull together to focus on the care,” she said.

“I hope most folks can remember a veteran that they know and give them a little bit of thanks, just give them a phone call, a handshake, something that says i do recognize that you’ve done service to our community, to our country, and I thank you for that,” said Gary Green.

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videoThe annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Wilmington National cemetery was moved inside due to the rain, but the Massing of the Colors went as planned at a nearby church.

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