HARRY Veterans, Happy Hill Neighborhood Association honor veterans at historic cemetery

Several people placed flags near the headstones of forgotten fallen soldiers at Happy Hill Cemetary.

HARRY Veterans, Happy Hill Neighborhood Association honor veterans at historic cemetery
June 02
07:33 2022

For over a decade HARRY (Helping Advocate Research Respond for You) Veterans Community Outreach Services has marked Memorial Day with their annual Memorial Day Commemoration ceremony. This year the event was held at Happy Hill Cemetery, where several World War I veterans are buried. 

For more than 60 years Happy Hill Cemetery was the resting place for enslaved and free African Americans. Happy Hill is known as the “Mother of all Black Neighborhoods” in Winston-Salem. 

The oldest grave in the cemetery found so far is that of Jerry Swepson who was buried in 1901. The cemetery is believed to have more than 113 people buried there, including veterans like Joe Beck, who was a private in the army, Luther Hairston, who fought in World War I, and Charity Barber, who lived from 1856 to 1942.

During the commemoration ceremony, veterans and others from the community placed flags near the headstones of fallen soldiers. The commemoration also featured music, free food and a care package filled with a plethora of items. Several speakers also participated in the ceremony including Rep. Evelyn Terry, Mayor Pro Tem. DD Adams, Forsyth County Commissioner Fleming El-Amin, Abio Harris, president of the Happy Hill Neighborhood Association, and Maurice Pitts Johnson, who has led the cleanup at the cemetery. 

Since 2008, HARRY has helped more than 500 veterans obtain employment, housing and much more. Along with the annual picnic and commemoration ceremony for Memorial Day, HARRY also holds giveaways on Veteran’s Day and other holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.

For more information about HARRY Veterans Community Outreach, visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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