Tyrrell County Celebrates Memorial Day With Special Service

Published 4:12 pm Monday, May 26, 2014

The Soundside Missionary Baptist Church Choir Performed at a May 25 Memorial Day Ceremony in Tyrrell County

The Soundside Missionary Baptist Church Choir Performed at a May 25 Memorial Day Ceremony in Tyrrell County

Tyrrell County celebrated Memorial Day with a service and a day of remembrance sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Glynn T. Cahoon Post 10659.

An estimated 30 to 40 veterans attended the ceremony.

Various members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars group led parts of the ceremony.

Dallas Simmons and Joseph Reynolds presided over the Raising of the Flags portion of the ceremony.

Commander Elmo Hassell gave a welcome to the community and thanked veterans for their services and contribution to the country.

The Soundside Missionary Baptist Church choir sang “No Greater Love”, a song from a “Faith of Our Fathers Program:Celebrating Our American Heritage” written and arranged for senior adult choirs by Marty Parks.

Marsha Brown, writer of the Gigline column for the Coastland Times, was a guest speaker at the program. Gigline is for and about veterans.

“Prayers no doubt have brought a lot of you home. I thank God for believers and faithful people. People that have been proud and supportive of our military,” said Brown in remarks made before the audience in front of the Tyrrell County Courthouse.

Brown and her husband, Billy, are active in all veteran related services in Dare County. As of now, they are trying to get as many veterans as possible to sign up for Dare County veterans I.D cards which will give them cash discounts at merchants throughout Dare County.

Brown is the daughter of a U.S. Coast Guard Retiree from Dare County where she was raised.

A little over three months after Billy came home from Vietnam in 1968 he and Marsha were married.

At that time Marsha, seventeen years old,thought she was mature.

Marsha recalled a time when a mobile home that she and Billy had ordered did not come on time. Marsha and Billy had to sleep at her parents’ house for the night. Marsha was upset and anxious to start her life with Billy.

“I had never felt the fear of closing my eyes when I retired for the night. I was never afraid that I would not open them. I had taken peace, safety, and rest for granted,” said Brown.

Billy helped Marsha gain perspective.

“He said, Marsha, do you know how blessed I feel? Do you know what it means for me to lay with a clean pillow under my head and know that I can shut my eyes? Do you know how thankful I am?” recalled Brown.

Billy’s comments about his experiences in Vietnam helped Marsha realize what he had been through and the significance of her complaints compared to his.

“Over the years I learned that my love and respect for him would grow more and more each day. I learned that I wanted more than anything to show him my appreciation for his service to our country and for what he had been through,” said Brown.

Marsha and Billy got involved in starting veterans’ appreciation events in 2011.
The Brown’s realized that there was a large unmet need with an excess of 4400 veterans in Dare County.

The Dare County Veterans Advisory Council was established in May 2012 in part due to the Browns’ work and efforts.

“There are seven members; we meet once a month, and through that organization we have made great strides. Being invited here today for this ceremony is a real blessing,” said Brown.

Marsha explained that 320 discount cards have been issued to veterans. New businesses are continually being sought out for membership in this program.

Brown reminded the crowd that all veterans groups need to work together on and raising awareness of veterans’ needs.

“Being invited to come and talk to all of you is a real blessing. It gives us more and more outreach with communities and counties around us,” said Brown.

The closing portions of the ceremony included Richard Edwards, Director of the Columbia High School Band leading taps and Reverend Joe Wynns, Retired United States Marine giving the benediction.