The Town of Aberdeen remembered several local citizens who have recently passed away at their town council meeting Monday.

A white rose was placed in the meeting in honor of Commissioner Ken Byrd who passed away unexpectedly in June. The Aberdeen Town Council voted to leave the seat vacant until the next municipal election.

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 Former Aberdeen Commissioner Ken Byrd at a Town Council meeting before passing in June ~ Sandhills Sentinel.

Also honored was former Aberdeen Fire Chief Adrian Allred who died Sunday. Chief Allred served Aberdeen for 57 years and was a recipient of the Order of Long Leaf Pine.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine was created in 1964 and is considered one of the most prestigious awards the governor of North Carolina can present.

The award recognizes people who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.

Former Aberdeen Fire Chief Adrian Allred (Courtesy photo).

During the public comment section of the meeting, Adriana Marquez Janker requested the Town allow the family of Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond to name a bench in downtown Aberdeen in his honor.

Sgt. Emond was one of four American service members killed in action Nov. 27, 2018, while maneuvering through Andar, Ghazni province, Afghanistan.

He helped found the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, which supports Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and Gold Star Families from his home state.

The nonprofit raised funds to build the Beacon of Honor, a memorial in Boston’s Seaport Common recognizing the sacrifice of the state’s service members who have died in America’s wars since 2001. Glass panels list the names of 272 fallen troops in chronological order of their deaths.

Emond was on his 7th tour overseas when he was killed. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.

His other awards include three Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, two NATO Achievement Medal, four Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Army Good Conduct Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, two Overseas Service Ribbons, National Defense Service Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantry Badge, and Combat Action Badge. 

Emond is survived by his wife and three daughters and remain in the Aberdeen area.

They are requesting to use the bench located outside of the Bakehouse on Poplar Street. This was a place he and his wife would come to enjoy some time together. It will also give the family a place to remember Emond, who is buried in Arlington National Cemetary just outside of Washington, DC.

Mayor Robbie Farrell stated that the Town supports honoring our veterans, and this seems “like a good way to remember this one.” He suggested Janker meet with Planning Director Justin Westbrook to start the process.

Feature photo of Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond via social media.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.           Sandhills_Sentinel
Contact him at chris@sandhillssentinel.com or (910) 639-9303.

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