Baxter sported a patriotic scarf as he sat patiently in the arms of Nancy Lane.

Baxter sported a patriotic scarf as he sat patiently in the arms of Nancy Lane. After all, dogs in America are free, too.

Nancy and Joe Lane traveled with their dog from Oriental to Havelock Monday for the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.

“We try to remember, just like everybody else,” Joe Lane said of the reason they rode the ferry across the Neuse River to attend Monday’s ceremony.

About 70 people attended the 40-minute ceremony, which was put on by the local Knights of Columbus for the eighth year. It included a wreath-laying at the Memorial Monument, patriotic music, prayers and a special ceremony for prisoners of war and those missing in action.

“I had never seen that before,” Nancy Lane said of the POW/MIA ceremony, which includes an empty table representing those unable to dine with their families and friends. “It was just beautiful.”

Martine Myers, a retired Navy captain who is also a member of the Naval Order, was the guest speaker for the ceremony.

“I was totally honored,” she said of speaking at the event. “It’s easy to honor those who died for our country.”

In her speech, she mentioned that more than 1.3 million people had lost their lives in fighting to protect freedom in the United States.

“How do we honor those who have given their lives for this country?” she said. “It’s an American tradition.”

She said Memorial Day was more than just backyard barbecues, and she thanked those who took the time out of their days to attend the ceremony.

“It’s so very important for us to continue to pay attention, to decorate their graves, assist their families in their times of need, so these heroes and their ultimate loss is not taken for granted,” she said.

Myers, a nurse who works at the Cherry Point Health Clinic, also made a point to remember those who came home but still are fighting.

“Many of those who served have lost the will to survive not in battle but in the struggles that ensued after the battle,” she said. “They too have sacrificed for this land and their families.”

She said those who died fighting for this country reflect the values of this country.

“We are here to honor those who died protecting our values, values of loyalty, duty, respect, selflessness, honor, courage, commitment and integrity,” she said. “These values keep this nation strong.”

After the ceremony, Nancy Lane had just one thought.

“God bless America,” she said. “We need to remember and be grateful.” 

For more pictures from the ceremony, click here: