5/28/14 Service dedicated to Coach Fred Brady
Photos by Karen Carter/Mebane Enterprise
Eastern Alamance U.S. History Teacher Patrick Stokes (third from left) and his students lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance with American Legion Post 95 Commander Don Solomon (second from right) and soloist Felicia Massey, Agape Baptist Church (right).
Service dedicated to Coach Fred Brady
By Karen Carter, Enterprise Editor, The Mebane Enterprise 5/28/14
Reprinted with permission.
Guest speaker Eastern Alamance High School athletic director, head football coach John Kirby pays tribute to Fred Brady.
Mebane dedicated its Memorial Day service on Sunday, May 25, in memory of one of its own, Fred Brady, coach at Eastern Alamance High School, community leader, and veteran of World War II.
A gathering at the Veteran’s Garden heard guest speaker Eastern athletic director and head football coach John Kirby thank Mrs. Ruth Brady, special guest at the service and spouse of Fred Brady, for “sharing” him with Eastern and the community he dearly loved.
“On Friday nights in the fall, as we come down the hill, we (the football team—players and coaches) touch a rock bearing Fred Brady’s name,” said Kirby. “His heart, dedication, we imitate him and play for our teammates and each other like he did and play for everything he stood for—like you veterans. Coach Brady drew up the blueprints of Eastern Alamance football.”
During World War II in the U.S. Navy, Brady was a certified Frogman, today they are called Navy Seals, said Kirby. “Coach Brady trained for the invasion of Japan, was part of an elite group, a demolition team, under water, destroying every obstacle, training with extensive, exhaustive demands, a dangerous job, all done for the success of the war effort.”
After he returned home, with the GI bill, he studied at the University of North Carolina and came to Eastern to teach and served 15 seasons as head coach of the football team, a 98-54 record, said Kirby.
“Coach Brady’s faith, his dedication, his work laid the athletic foundation for Eastern Alamance,” said Kirby. He taught us to do the right thing.
Everyone that encountered our veterans knew they had a fearless foe; you veterans have left your mark, given us our freedom.”
Kirby concluded his remarks by quoting John 15:13 that greater love has no one than to lay down their life for their friends.
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) District 6 Commander Ken Sellers introduced the next guest speaker, Ernest Allis, who currently serves as the State Commander of the VFW Department of North Carolina.
Born in Upstate New York, and coming of age during the Vietnam War, draftee #11 Ernie Allis enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1970.
Assigned to a division of the Army Security Agency during his tour of duty in Southeast Asia, Allis was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal, and a Meritorious Unit Citation.
With the GI Bill, Allis earned his undergraduate degrees while working full-time in a Fortune 50 company in New York State and transferred to North Carolina in 1978.
He later earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management.
While working and living in Charlotte, he rejoined the Army Security Agency in the U.S. Army Reserve for five years, but resigned in 1986 to continue his education and spend more time with his family.
Serving the VFW as member, quartermaster and commander of Post 9488 in Charlotte, Allis was also chair of the Department Budget Committee, and National Aide-de-Camp.
He also serves on the VFW National Legislative Committee in Washington, D.C. and on the Committee for National Security and Foreign Affairs.
During his remarks to the gathering at the Memorial Day service on Sunday, Allis entreated the audience to hold close the memory of their loved ones, mourn for their loss, and look to the future of what can be done today to take care of the veterans and their families, those coming home, those wounded by conflict and war, all those in need.
“Our veterans have performed the highest form of service as a citizen, earning our gratitude, respect and honor,” said Allis. “The veterans that died, they gave more than any of us and did what we were not able to do. They answered the call. Let us draw on their courage to strengthen our nation as one voice because the freedom we have today was purchased with life.”
Allis concluded by saying, “Be determined today to help our veterans so that they not be homeless, unemployed, or sick. Help the living. Stand steadfast in our obligation to our nation’s veterans.”
At Mebane’s Memorial Day service, Felicia Massey, guest soloist from Agape Baptist Church, led with inspirational music including the Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem and God Bless America.
The Marine Corp League LCPL Alan D. Lam Detachment 1209 posted the colors. American Legion Post #95 Commander Don Solomon of Mebane conducted the ceremony and the post’s chaplain Rowan Grant gave the prayers.
Patrick Stokes, Eastern Alamance High School U.S. History teacher and past award winner as the North Carolina VFW Veterans’ Teacher of the Year, led in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Everyone paid tribute to the troops during the medley of music that recognized local veterans from each branch of the military. Veterans were asked to come forward and stand in the street to be honored by the public.
The wreath laying ceremony followed, led by American Legion Post #95 Sr. Vice Commander Wayne Brewer, VFW Post 1920 Commander Ray Hillen, Post 1920 Ladies’ Auxiliary to the VFW President Sandra Jeffries, Marine Corps League Color Guard and Commandant Mary Dixon, and Sons of Confederate Veterans Carl Singley laid the wreaths at the fountain.Bill Dickten played TAPS.