Florence National Cemetery to hold Memorial Day ceremony

May 20, 2018 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. -- The Florence National Cemetery will play host to the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day at 10 a.m. on May 28.

This year’s speaker will be Brigadier General James H. Raymer, chief of staff of the U.S. Army Central Command Coalition Forces Land Component Command and a 1989 graduate of the United States Military Academy.

Raymer began his career in the Army with the 65th Engineer Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii in 1990. He served as a sapper and platoon leader, a company executive officer and the battalion supply officer.

He has served at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina; Camp Red Cloud near Uijongbu, Korea; Camp Howze, Korea; Al Anbar Province, Baghdad and Ar Ramadi, Iraq; Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan; and Fort Hood, Texas.

He is currently stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter.

Raymer’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the National Defense Servcie Medal and many others. He holds two masters degrees and is a registered engineer in Virginia.

“Once again, the Florence Memorial Day is shaping up to be an outstanding tribute to those who paid the ultimate price for us,” said Col. Barry Wingard, U.S. Army retired, who will serve as the master of ceremonies for this year’s event.

The event will include the national anthem performed by representatives of the Florence Little Theatre, presentation of colors by the Charles Deven Jr. Camp No. 10, Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, cannon fire by the Pee Dee Light Artillery & Palmetto Battalion Re-enactors and rifle volley and taps by the Veterans Honor Guard.

The post-ceremony will feature Florence National Cemetery’s Living History program that includes South Carolina re-enactors wearing various war period clothing who will portray characters and tell tales of their historic past.

Parking for this year’s event will be at the S.C. Department of Disabilities & Special Needs at 714 National Cemetery Road -- adjacent to the National Cemetery.

For more information on the event, contact Carolyn Howard or Barry Jones at 843-669-8783.