Woman wore fallen soldier's MIA bracelet for 30+ years until rem - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Woman wore fallen soldier's MIA bracelet for 30+ years until remains found

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Kathy Strong speaking at Memorial Day ceremony (Source: KAIT) Kathy Strong speaking at Memorial Day ceremony (Source: KAIT)

A woman flew into Jonesboro from San Francisco to be a part of the annual Memorial Day Ceremony.

The city of Jonesboro and Craighead County hosted its annual Memorial Day Ceremony early in the morning.

More than 5,000 bricks honoring service men and women who’ve died are placed outside of the courthouse along the sidewalks.

At the memorial service, two new names of fallen heroes were engraved into bricks and placed along the sidewalk memorial.

“We are remembering James Moreland and James Holt today,” Danny Honnoll, commander of the local Sons of American Legion, said. “They were both Army special forces soldiers in Vietnam. They were MIA’s for years and years until their remains were found.”

A portion of Main Street was blocked off in front of the county courthouse, where a number of people showed up to honor America’s fallen heroes, including veterans.

Also, in attendance was Kathy Strong who shared her story about a unique tie she has with fallen soldier, Moreland.

“On Christmas Day in 1972 I received a POW-MIA bracelet in my Christmas stocking of James Moreland,” Strong said. “I put it on that day and promised to wear it and not take it off until he came home, and I ended up wearing it for 38 years.”

Moreland’s remains came home in 2011, which led Strong to fulfill her childhood promise.

“I flew to Alabama for his funeral and I buried the bracelet with him, so now I’m on a mission to put a memorial brick for James in all 50 states, and Arkansas is state number 13,” Strong said.

She honored Holt on Monday also by placing his brick next to Moreland’s because the two men fought and served side-by-side at war.

The ceremony included a presentation of flags, lying of wreaths at the memorial statue, lying of flowers of all soldiers, a prayer for our heroes and country, among other things.

Members of the Arkansas Legislature and executive branch presented Strong with a token of appreciation for her passion for America’s fallen.

She was presented with a document called the Arkansas Traveler, which is given to special guests who come to Arkansas.

Strong is now an ambassador for the state of Arkansas.

“I want to wrap up by thanking the veterans for their service over the years, for their friendship,” Honnoll said. “People are gone to the lake today and visiting relatives and it’s these individuals who gave their lives to give them the freedom to go do the things they want to today, so I just ask everyone to stop sometime today reflect on a veteran who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

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