‘A lot of folks died for our freedoms’

7th annual Memorial Day cookout in Norman a success

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery

NORMAN — Food is used as an excuse to get together.

There were plenty of tasty examples to get together Monday afternoon for the seventh annual Memorial Day cookout and ceremony, but organizers worked to ensure the purpose of the gathering was kept front and center.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Friendship and fellowship is always a key part of the Memorial Day Cookout in Norman.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Friendship and fellowship is always a key part of the Memorial Day Cookout in Norman.

“A lot of folks died for our freedoms,” said Rev. Bob Carpenter in the pre-meal prayer inside the Norman Community Center. “We all know somebody who didn’t make it back.”

Nearly one-fifth of the 60-plus people in the diverse crowd served in the military and were recognized by Pastor Dena White, of Norman Methodist Church before she and Cynthia Ingram led the group in a memorial candle lighting to honor those who served but weren’t able to visit Norman for the food and fellowship.

Mayor Kenneth Broadway, who began the cookout seven years ago as a way to get to know his neighbors, welcomed visitors and regulars alike.

White led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance while Richmond Senior High School’s MaKayla Bacon played “Taps” on her trumpet.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Chips were a favorite, along with hot dogs, baked beans, slaw and a variety of desserts, including cakes, muffins, cherry  yum-yum and more.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Chips were a favorite, along with hot dogs, baked beans, slaw and a variety of desserts, including cakes, muffins, cherry yum-yum and more.

The town’s Memorial Day ceremony is essentially a cookout run amok. Broadway said when he first arrived to town, he didn’t know anybody. So he fired up his grill.

“I invited a few of the neighbors,” Broadway said.

Neighbors told their neighbors. In year two, a few more people showed up and because rain clouds threatened the Memorial Day weekend get-together, the event was moved to the Norman Community Center.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Rev. Bob Carpenter greets an old friend inside the Norman Community Center.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Rev. Bob Carpenter greets an old friend inside the Norman Community Center.

Filed in: Ellerbe/Norman, Featured News, Latest Headlines, Military and Veterans, News

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