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Memorial Day tribute features Gold Star mother from Flat Rock

This year’s Asheville-Buncombe Memorial Day Ceremony will be held as a virtual ceremony, because of the need for physical distance under the state of emergency during the covid-19 pandemic.


The keynote speaker will be Anne Adkins, a Gold Star Mother and resident of Flat Rock who lost her son, Matthew T. Bolar, during combat duty in Iraq.

The ceremony, planned in concert with the Buncombe County Veterans Council, will be streamed live from Asheville City Hall. Tune into the city of Asheville’s YouTube channel at 11 a.m. Memorial Day, May 25, to view the ceremony live in real time. Following the ceremony, it will be archived for later viewing on the city’s YouTube channel.

Expected to last about 40 minutes, the ceremony will serve in place of both the City and the State Veterans Cemetery in-person events. There will be no attendees other than the individuals with active roles in the program. The program will consist of:

The National Anthem will be sung by Ric Ledford, USMC, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Ted Minnick, US Army, Vietnam.
Next presenter will be Stephanie Young, Director, Charles George V.A. Medical Center
The keynote speaker will be Anne Adkins, retired vice president of marketing for Raycom Media. Her son Matthew died May 3, 2007, in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat operations. He was 24.
There will be two readings from the Brothers and Sisters Like These writing group (Ron Toler, USAF pilot, Vietnam; Tommy Cannon, U.S. Army, Iraq, and his son Issac, U.S. Army, Iraq, will read a Memorial Day tribute)
The playing of taps by Ric Ledford, which will then conclude the ceremony.