This time of year always makes me a bit nostalgic, grateful and humbled. While most people look forward to the Memorial Day weekend for a little extra time to play or relax, I think it’s important to take time to reflect on those men and women who fought for our freedom.
I am a veteran. That’s right. Before you called me your realtor I was called Lieutenant Cunningham. The 11 years I spent in the U.S Coast Guard truly shaped how I see the world. I’m proud to have been a part of such an honorable organization. The Coast Guard has safeguarded our Nation’s waters since 1790.
When you consider how different our lives might have been without all of our veterans it’s a pretty stark thought.
The Carolinas have a rich military history. In fact, the long weekend is a good opportunity to learn more about this regions role in our country’s development. If you can get away for the weekend here are a few places worth going to see our history up close.
Wilmington is a great road trip for lots of reasons but it’s also home to the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial. The ship used during World War II is docked just across the river from downtown. On Memorial Day there will be a special ceremony including a 21 gun salute.
While you are there check out the US COAST GUARD CUTTER DILIGENCE VI. Wilmington has been the home port for the DILIGENCE vessel since 1792. If you are lucky you can get a free tour while you are there. You can follow all their action on their Facebook page.
And don’t forget to stop at Fort Fisher (Kure Beach). The Fort protected the port during the Civil War and was important to getting supplies to inland troops.
Aside from being our state capital, there are some great museums there. The North Carolina Museum of History has many artifacts in its collection related to the Second World War.
BLACKSBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA
Thomas Jefferson called the Kings Mountain National Military Park “The turn of the tide of success” of the Revolutionary War. The park sits along the North/South Carolina border. Memorial Day weekend living history interpreters will be on hand for demonstrations from wars throughout history.
It was an honor and a privilege to serve and protect this country of ours. Take time to thank a vet when you are out enjoying the fun. If you are staying close to home remember a few big celebrations here include: Military Days at Carowinds, The NASCAR races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the community celebration at the The U.S. National White Water Center.