Monthly Archives: November 2021

Veterans Day 2021: Taps Across America

On November 11, 2011, at 11:00 am, a group assembled at the Fort Caswell Rifle Range in Caswell Beach, NC, alongside the National WWI Centennial Memorial to honor veterans.

Norma Eckard, president of Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range, spoke to those assembled.

Martha Koletar, Regent of Brunswick Town Chapter of NSDAR, read The Story of Taps.

Richard Slease performed “Taps.”

Richard organized his first Taps Across America tribute at the rifle range last year, when the pandemic prevented many commemorations.

Carl Mauney, WWI reenactor who has attended many of the rifle range commemorations, presented WWI gear in his full World War I reproduction woolen uniform. Carl is always a welcome addition to our events.

DAR chaplain Judy Holden offered this prayer.

O God, our help in ages past our hope for years to come. We praise You for Your Presence with us today and with those who serve our country.

We give special thanks for the 718 men and woman who served in World War I from Brunswick County and American heroes who from our beginning as a nation have paid the supreme sacrifice.

Comfort and protect those who struggle from their experiences and be with the men and women in hospitals. May they know they are not forgotten.

Let us remember the sacrifices of their time away from loved ones and their pride in what they were doing for our country.

As we gather today, may we not take our freedoms lightly, including even this right to gather as a group and the privilege to pray together.

Go with us, Lord, in our separate ways, give us grateful hearts for our wonderful heritage. Help us to realize our responsibilities to keep the fires of patriotism glowing brightly.

Lord God
Be with us yet
Lest we forget

Thanks to Teresa McLamb for some of the photos posted above.

You can see more photos of the event in the November 17th issue of the State Port Pilot, shown here.

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Join us for Veterans Day 2021: Taps Across America

Download the flyer here: Taps Across America 2021

Read about last year’s event.

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Spotlight: Rob Campbell

Rob Campbell

The previous spotlight shined a light on Betty McGaha, who spent 5 days in 2019 clearing the rifle pit.

The pandemic caused a delay in many of our activities at the rifle range. On the one hand, this allowed us to complete our goal of publishing a book about the quest to restore the rifle range, including the enormous amount of research compiled about the Brunswick County WWI veterans.

But with no major cleanup on the rifle pit, the leaves, dirt, and other debris continued to accumulate. Weeds also grow quickly inside and outside the pit.

Enter Rob Campbell, new resident. Rob enjoys working outside and was intrigued by the history of the rifle range. Upon learning about the World War I structure in his new neighborhood, he immediately offered to do whatever was needed to maintain the historical relic.

We asked Rob to share his thoughts about the importance of preserving the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated an official World War I Centennial Memorial.

“I have a natural curiosity for history and historical sites. My wife and I toured Ft. Caswell and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about those structures and what life must have been like for those who served and were stationed there.

“When I learned about the group helping to preserve the Rifle Range, I volunteered to help due to my personal appreciation for the beauty and the history of this area, as well as the thought that this may well have been a last ‘happy place’ for many soldiers, considering they may have never seen a beach before.

“As fortunate as I am to realize the beauty of this area, daily, I wanted to honor them in helping to preserve the area that, hopefully, they saw as beautiful in an otherwise tragic time.”

Well said, Rob!

We thank Rob Campbell for his cleanup effort and interest in the Fort Caswell Rifle Range!

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