Veterans Day ceremony addresses flag burning and protests

Veterans salute during a wreath presentation at the Fallen Soldier Statue at the Carolina Field of Honor in Kernersville’s Triad Park on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day ceremony addresses flag burning and protests
November 17
02:00 2016

Photo by Todd Luck



During a time of division and unrest, many came together at Triad Park in Kernersville to honor those who’ve served on Veterans Day.

The ceremony was held at the park’s Carolina Field of Honor, which is the largest veterans’ memorial on the East Coast. Ret. Lt. Gen. Walter Ulmer addressed a large crowd in front of the memorial’s 57-foot tall granite obelisk. The 33-year Army veteran talked about the honor, discipline and sacrifice his fellow veterans have made.

The ceremony took place days after the divisive election of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, which has resulted in large protests around the country (and smaller ones in Winston-Salem), some of which have turned violent. Several have involved burning the American flag, which Ulmer said brought a mix of feeling to veteran. “I think perhaps the overwhelming emotion is one of sadness,” said Ulmer. “It is sadness for, in many cases, well-meaning people who have forgotten that there are shameful things in the world, that there are things that you can do but that there’s a sort of a higher consequence that says that you must not do.”

Ulmer continued by saying if a country loses its shame, it loses a part of its soul. He said with the current unrest in the United States and around the world, it’s possible to say that “youth has gone to hell in a hand basket.” But he said he’s optimistic about the next  generation because of the heroism of young people fighting in recent wars.

“America has the challenge of getting itself together and trying in the long run to so educate our people that there are no shameful things done,” said Ulmer. “Not that they don’t have the right  to explain and explode, but perhaps if they were more in tune with what they have inherited, more understanding of the reputation of this unique institution, the fact that they are part of the longest sustained Democracy in the history of the world.”

He said the country is “still a project that’s being worked on” and that everyone has obligations to things bigger than themselves.

Many people are upset over the election of Trump, who was even rejected by some in his own Republican party. His rhetoric, policies and actions have been viewed by many as racist, misogynistic and bigoted. The Klu Klux Klan and white nationalists endorsed Trump, though he did denounce both endorsements.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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