GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) –Friday was Veterans Day and despite the threat of bad weather from tropical system Nicole, many recognized the day with ceremonies and other activities to honor our veterans and their sacrifices to keep us free.

We have reports from Greenville, Jacksonville and New Bern from our team of reporters who were out and about covering those events.

In the 11th hour, on the 11th day, in the 11th month, America honors the military veterans, both living and dead, who helped protect our country. There was an estimated 18 million honored on Veterans Day, with more than 720,000 living and working in North Carolina.

WNCT’s Sarah Gray Barr spoke with veterans about what the day means to them.

Jacksonville

A patriotic truck sat outside the Chapter Hall of the Disabled American Veterans office. It was there to welcome those who came from near and far to remember the sacrifice of our nation’s veterans.

Friday’s ceremony was a special one to the veterans in attendance. The event also included a missing man table, the presentation of colors and an award ceremony. Randall Cox, commander of the DAV of Onslow County Chapter 16 said it was a chance to remember all veterans for their selflessness during war times.

“They’re willing to go ahead and if they have to sacrifice their life, they did it,” Cox said. “You know, and that means a lot to me, it touches me to know that.”

New Bern

One way people in Eastern North Carolina honored Veterans Day was with a hike.

March For The 22 raises awareness about veteran suicides. Participants took 22 pounds in a backpack and hiked 22 miles from Maysville to New Bern, all for a good cause.

Each day, 22 veterans lose their battle to mental health and suicide. In 2020, organizers created the March For The 22 to bring awareness and let veterans know that they aren’t alone as well as help them get the resources they need.

They’ve raised over $30,000 this year.

“I think it means a lot, not only to myself as a veteran, but to our brothers and sisters,” said founder Adin Colon. “Because, you know, it’s a daily struggle to daily fight back and that we go through by ourselves. And it’s, this shows that it’s not, it’s not just by ourselves, we’re not alone, the communities in this fight with us.”

Greenville

You will see a lot of green lights shining in your communities. Several local counties are participating in “Operation Green Light,” a one-week nationwide initiative to support our military veterans.

Pitt County is one of the areas where you’ll see those lights shining brightly and proudly. Buildings and structures like the county courthouse, Greenville Town Common and Greene Street bridge have been lit up in green.

Carolina Museum of the Marine

Jacksonville residents are learning more about the plans for a new museum and its mission.

The Carolina Museum of the Marine recently received a $26 million grant for its construction. Brigadier Gen. Kevin Stewart said it still needs donations to make the dream a reality.

“The impact and meaning of its mission and the idea of it,” Stewart said. “That’s why it’s persevered. And we’re close. But we need that continued support, continued resource support to help us close the deal and get this thing built.”

Click here to find out more about the museum and how you can help.