Elizabeth City, N.C. – Flags waved in the distance, and the birds flew gracefully overhead, making no sound. All was quiet outside of the Marion D. Thorpe building as Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) and the military community united to honor the brave men and women who sacrificed in service to our country.

“We want to take a moment to remember the ‘why' of Memorial Day, so this ceremony is going to give us a chance to pause and think about that,” said William Lewin, assistant chancellor and deputy chief of staff.

The solemn wreath-laying ceremony organized in a collaborative effort by the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Military Affairs, featured university officials, faculty and special guests. After opening remarks from Lewin, heads bowed as Arlinda Halfacre said the prayer with her central theme, “We remember.”

“We remember those who courageously laid down their lives for our freedom and we will be eternally grateful,” Halfacre prayed.

The wreath-laying portion of the ceremony came from Lt. Col. Julie Kendrick, professor of military science. The wreath, adorned with red, white and blue flowers, was placed in front of the monument that reads, “In honor of the ECSU men and women of the Armed Forces past, present and future.” In tribute, ECSU student Kendal Roberson played the bugle call and signal, “Taps.”

Chancellor Dixon's words immediately followed, carrying the weight of the occasion. "As we begin this Memorial Day weekend, I want to express my deepest gratitude to those who have served and continue to serve our nation. Your bravery, selflessness, and dedication to our country are a testament to the best of humanity."

Remarks from Chancellor Dixon ended with, “May their memories continue to inspire us, and may they strive to build a world where freedom, peace and justice are cherished by all. Thank you again. Viking pride!”

Those who gathered to pay respect to the fallen repeated in unison, “Viking Pride!”
The echoes of
the chant served as a reminder of the enduring legacy of those who have served and continue to serve this nation.