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Here is a story for you and it will help us a lot in bringing a Purple Heart Memorial Monument into Freedom Memorial Park prior to Memorial Day 2020.

***We are looking for some financial support from the community as the monument and foundation cost will come close to $10,000.00. We anticipate the monument to be in place by May 20, 2020, or before Memorial Day.

The Fort Bragg Chapter 2226, Military Order of the Purple Heart of America, is a non profit corporation under 501 (c)(19).

Interested supporters of this project can mail contributions to: Fort Bragg Chapter 2226, MOPH, PO Box 72745, Fort Bragg, NC 28307-2745

Please memo checks: PH Monument

Visitors to Freedom Memorial Park see many names on the various war memorial monuments not realizing that all of service members whose name are engraved upon the monuments were killed in action and are recipients for the Purple Heart Medal for being combat wounded. The Purple Heart memorial monument calls your attention to them and also to the millions of combat wounded service members in our nation’s combat actions across the globe. The memorial monument is a lasting tribute to all combat wounded miltary service members of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina and the USA.

POC: Don Talbot
Fort Bragg Chapter 2226, MOPH
910-977-7776 C

The Purple Heart

The Purple Heart is an American military decoration that was the first award made available to the common soldier. It was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by General George Washington’s General Orders of August 7, 1782, and is the oldest military award to U.S. military members in current use.


An estimated 1.7 million veterans have received Purple Hearts since 1932. In October 2008, U.S. soldiers who died in Prisoner of war (POW) camps as long ago as World War II were authorized to receive Purple Heart medals. The changes in eligibility affect an estimated 17,000 POWs who died in captivity to receive the honor.


Per United States Army regulations, the Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died after being wounded.

The Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not “recommended” for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria. A Purple Heart is authorized for the first wound suffered under conditions indicated above, but for each subsequent award an oak leaf cluster is awarded. Only one award is made for more than one wound or injury received at the same instant.

The Foundation

The first Purple Heart Dinner was organized in Wake Forest, NC in 2009, and are now organized in cities across NC.

With every new year, we average honoring over 90 Purple Heart recipients, 11 Gold Star Mothers and 14 families of those Killed in Action, with over 900 people in attendance. Our purpose is to honor and thank Purple Heart recipients who shed their blood for our Country, while also honoring Gold Star Mothers and the families of those KIA.

To learn more about the SANDHILLS PURPLE HEART DINNER please visit:

Volunteers make the Purple Heart Dinner happen. Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Deborah O’Neil.

Mark you calendar (s) now to attend the Memorial Day Ceremony at Freedom Memorial Park on Monday, 27 May 2019. Bleacher seating for 300 but it fills quickly so we recommend a lawn chair. Be early as parking fills fast. Park at the ASOM and at the Medical Arts building.

“Memorial Day Remembrance”

May 28, 2018

We come together today to remember the fallen and to appreciate the sacrifices they made to keep our nation safe and secure from our nation’s founding to the current Global War on Terrorism. We know their war stories and see the medals they wore proving their tenacity, courage, strength, and skill who on the wild seas and hostile beaches, in steaming jungles and mud filled valleys, on icy mountains and in rubble strewn cities, suffered and died for all of us. It is time for all of America to realize that much of our best blood has been spilled all over the world so that we might live free and unchained!

Today, we dedicate a new memorial The Global War on Terrorism Memorial Monument in remembrance of those who were taken from us in an act of terrorism and war against the United States of America. The attacks upon us are proof that we, the people, and our nation are all vulnerable and that we must be eternally vigilant with a strong military. We must never forget these things.

The Global War on Terrorism Memorial Monuments and plaza came to us with major funding from members of the Cape Fear Chapter, Military Officers Association of America. We sincerely appreciate their consideration and support.

Don Talbot, Chairman

Freedom Memorial Park Steering Committee

“Call out our names and we shall live forever!”

Mark you calendar (s) now to attend the Memorial Day Ceremony at Freedom Memorial Park on Monday, 28 May, at 10:00 AM. Bleacher seating for 300 but it fills quickly so we recommend a lawn chair. Be early as parking fills fast.

For almost a decade, a group of veterans has been traveling North Carolina to honor men and women who have spilled blood, lost limbs and have been otherwise injured for their country.

The group, the Purple Heart Foundation of North Carolina, has hosted dinners in Asheville, Charlotte, Goldsboro, New Bern, Wake Forest, Winston-Salem and Wilmington.

On what is characterized as the most solemn day of the year, Downtown Fayetteville served as the center of Memorial Day observances in Cumberland County, honoring those who have fallen in military service.

A service in Freedom Memorial Park featured a wreath-laying and moment of silence for the thousands of service members who have been unaccounted for since the Cold War.

“Make no mistake, we are in the presence of the dead,” declared Don Talbot, chairman of the Freedom Memorial Park steering committee.

In the crowd was an ex-prisoner of war who was captured and held in Vietnam for five years.

Ray Schrump was brought to tears describing the significance of Memorial Day.

“To me, it’s a very personal thing because of the number of men who died in my presence and my best friend in Korea died in my arms,” Schrump said. “It’s a day we set aside to honor and pay tribute to these men.”

At the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, a K-9 Memorial service paid tribute to the four-legged comrades killed in action, including “Pepper”.

Pepper served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was killed in action in 2006. Pepper’s statue stands as a symbol of sacrifice in front of hundreds of flags in the ASOM Field of Honor.

Earlier Monday morning, the Deputy Commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps on Fort Bragg paused for reflections, focusing on veterans of the Vietnam War.

“Across America, some people dream the dream,” said Major General Jefforey Smith. “Some people love the dream. Some people defend the dream. Thank God for all those who defend the dream and for all who sacrifice themselves for this country.”

Hundreds of people across the Cape Fear region paused Monday to thank thousands who gave their lives in military service during Memorial Day events.

The largest took place at Freedom Memorial Park in downtown Fayetteville, where Maj. Gen. Jefforey Smith told a sun-splashed crowd that “your presence here today speaks volumes.

“Your remembrance of those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice is appreciated.

“Across America, there are people who dream the dreams of freedom. There are those who live the dream. And there are those who must defend the dream.”

Smith, deputy commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, quoted former President Ronald Reagan, saying we should thank God for those willing to die defending that dream.

“They believed in the call of duty from their nation,” he said. “Peace is a fragile thing that requires constant vigilance.”

The ceremony also was an opportunity to salute Don Talbot, chairman of the park’s steering committee and one of its biggest supporters. Talbot received the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.

“In the military, we like to recognize those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty,” Smith said. “Mr. Talbot has done that with his tireless efforts.”

The ceremony was the 18th consecutive in downtown Fayetteville. Talbot said “it is a nice feeling to have so many people care to remember and appreciate the sacrifices of others who have kept our nation safe and secure.

“Feelings beget feeling, and great feeling begets great feeling. It is a great feeling to come together and share the feeling of our service men and women and the families who have lost loved ones in our wars and conflicts.”

Wreaths were placed to commemorate the fallen from wars dating to World War I. In addition, North Carolina’s Chapter 1 of Rolling Thunder honored those still missing.

Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson declared Monday a day of remembrance in the city.

“Let us pray for a permanent peace as the flag flies at half-staff,” he said.

Across Bragg Boulevard at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, retired Army canine handler David Nielsen told a hushed audience about the sacrifice of another fighter: Pepper, a trained German Shepherd who died helping flush a hidden sniper in Iraq.

“Pepper didn’t just lay down her life,” Nielsen said. “She did what she did out of love for her best friend and her pack. She’d do anything for us, but God help anyone who threatened her pack.

“She was a glowing eyed nightmare for foes.”

Sixty-two small flags dotted the canine memorial at the museum – one for each fallen dog used by the military since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

“Each is an American soldier – often many more than one – who came home because of their sacrifice,” said Chuck Yerry, president of the Special Operations Forces K9 Memorial Foundation.

In Spring Lake, Mayor Chris Rey addressed more than 350 people at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery who attended a ceremony and rededication of its committal structure.

“Today, we remember our veterans who stood at the gate of freedom,” Rey said.

The rededication was the culmination of a 4-year effort to enclose the once open-air funeral site.

“This was no way for families to say their good-byes to loved ones,” said the Rev. Archie Barringer, one of the people who spearheaded the effort to enclose the structure.

Ilario Pantano, director of the N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs, joined Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of Fort Bragg and the 18th Airborne Corps, in laying a wreath near the bell tower.

“We’re here to remember all who have donned the national uniform,” Townsend said. “And we are here to honor those who have taken their final roll call. This place stands as a fitting tribute” to all branches of service, whether lives were lost in war, training or a retired veteran simply died in peace.

“What matters is they all raised their right hand, and served. To all, thank you. God bless the United States and our armed forces.”

There also was a ceremony scheduled Monday afternoon in Hope Mills.

Staff writer Bill Kirby Jr. contributed to this report.

Staff writer Chick Jacobs can be reached at or 486-3515.

Directory of local parks with trails, facilities and other amenities.

For more information on the parks and their programs, go to

Arnette Park: 2165 Old Wilmington Road. Picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, tennis courts, horseshoes, sand volleyball court, ball fields and disc golf. Haunted hayrides in October and Christmas in the Park in December. 433-1547

Arsenal Park: 801 Arsenal Ave. Nearly 5-acre site contains remnants of the U.S. Arsenal, built to store arms in 1836. Green space, trails. 486-1330

Cape Fear River Trail: The completed first phase is four miles, running from Jordan Soccer Complex at Treetop Drive to Clark Park on Sherman Drive. The paved trail is open to pedestrians, joggers, bicycles, rollerblades and other non-motorized transport. The trail is home to an abundance of wildlife and several bridges that provide views of the river and marshland.

J. Bayard Clark Park: 631 Sherman Drive. Trails and nature center on 76 acres. Canoe launching, fishing, picnic tables, playground, primitive camping, waterfall, ranger-guided tours. 433-1579

Cliffdale Elementary School/Park: Cliffdale Road. Recreation center, volleyball court, ball fields, playground, green space.

College Lakes Park: 4846 Rosehill Road. Newly renovated. Ball fields, playground, trail, green space.

Cross Creek Linear Park: From Festival Park at Ray Avenue to the Riverside Dog Park at North Eastern Boulevard. Completed scenic 2.8-mile trail includes the fountain on Mason Street, statue of the Marquis de Lafayette, six bridges over the creek.

Douglas Byrd Middle School/Park: Ireland Drive. Walking trail, four baseball fields, multipurpose field for football and soccer.

Eastover Community Park: 2721 Ball Park Road. Ball fields, pavilion. 485-7424

Fayetteville Community Garden: Vanstory and Mann streets. 100 plots available to residents for planting vegetables, flowers and herbs. 433-1547

Festival Park: Ray Avenue and Rowan Street. Lawn area of 3.5 acres in front of covered amphitheater. 433-1547

Freedom Memorial Park: Hay Street and Bragg Boulevard. War monuments.

General Lee Park: General Lee Avenue. Playground.

Dorothy D. Gilmore Park: 1600 Purdue Drive. Recreation center, handicapped accessible playground.

Glen Reilly Park: Glen Reilly Road and Wadsworth Court. Green space, horseshoe pit, pavilion, playground, walking path.

Glendale Acres Elementary School/Park: 2915 Skycrest Drive. Playground, ball fields, walking path, green space.

Godwin Park: Markham Street. Playground, walking trail, picnic shelters, volleyball court.

Hall Park: Hall Park Road. Ball fields, picnic shelters.

Honeycutt Elementary School/Park: Lakewood Road. Ball fields, playground, green space.

Honeycutt Park: Fort Bragg Road and Devers Street. Ball fields, playgrounds, trail, picnic tables, recreation center, green space. 433-1568

Lake Rim Elementary School/Park: Hoke Loop Road. Recreation center, ball fields, gym, playground, walking path.

Lake Rim Park: 2214 Tar Kiln Drive. Picnic areas, horseshoe pits, trails, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, ball fields, playgrounds. 433-1018

Lamon Street Park: Lamon and Ann streets. Ball fields, playground, picnic tables, pavilion. Adult softball leagues play here. 433-1004

Martin Luther King Jr. Park: Blue Street. Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., picnic pavilion and open space.

Massey Hill Park: 1612 Camden Road. Ball fields, recreation center, horseshoe pit, picnic tables, playground, in-line skating rink. 433-1569

Mazarick Park: Belvedere Avenue. Boat rentals, disc golf course, picnic shelters, trails, tennis courts, ball fields. 433-1547

Max Abbott Middle School/Park: Winding Creek Road. Ball fields, gym, walking path, green space.

E.E. Miller Elementary School/Park: Rim Road. Recreation center, ball fields, playground, green space.

Montclair Elementary School/Park: Glensford Drive. Ball fields, playground, walking path, green space.

Myers Park: 1018 Rochester St. Ball fields, horseshoes, playground, green space.

Nick Jeralds Middle School/Park: Ramsey Street. Ball fields, gym, green space.

North Carolina Veterans Park: 300 Bragg Blvd. Pays tribute to veterans from all branches of the military. Peaceful sitting areas, fountains and water features and bronze sculptures of the hands of 100 veterans. Visitors center. 433-1457, 433-1458, 433-1944 or

Pine Forest Middle School/Park: Ramsey Street. Recreation center, ball fields, playground, walking path.

Ponderosa Elementary School/Park: Bonanza Drive. Ball fields, playground, green space.

Reid Ross Classical School/Park: Ramsey Street. Ball fields, gym, track, green space.

Riverside Dog Park: 555 N. Eastern Blvd. Park for small and big dogs. 433-1547

Rowan Park: 725 W. Rowan St. Recreation center, picnic tables, playground, tennis courts, amphitheater, the blue whale. 422-1547

J.W. Seabrook Park: 708 Langdon St. Ball fields, basketball courts, recreation center, playgrounds, pool. 433-1571

Senior Center: 739 Blue St. Horseshoes, recreation center, walking path, picnic tables. Holds weekly and monthly programs and special trips. 433-1574

Christina Smith Park: 500 Fisher St. Playground, splash pad, ball fields, basketball courts, recreation center, volleyball, picnic tables, horseshoes, green space. 433-1572

Mable C. Smith Park: 1367 Shadbush Lane. Basketball courts, football/soccer field, picnic tables, playground, walking trails, horseshoe pit, green space. 433-1547

Stedman Elementary School/Park: Circle Drive. Recreation center, ball fields, playground, walking path.

Stoney Point Elementary School/Park: Rockfish Road. Recreation center, playground, walking path, green space.

Tokay Park: 328 Hamilton Drive. Ball fields, recreation center, picnic tables, playground, tennis courts, rubberized track, green space. 433-1547

Westover Park: Bonanza Drive, next to Westover High School. Ball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, trail, green space.