you're reading...

Cornelius News

Memorial Day Observance in Cornelius includes ceremony, 21-gun salute, decorated native son Marine aviator

The Cornelius Memorial Day Observance will start at 10 am Monday, May 29.

May 24.  Join the Town of Cornelius and American Legion Post 86 for a Memorial Day Observance to honor our nation’s servicemen and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

This ceremony will be held 10 am Monday, May 29, on the Cornelius Town Hall lawn across from the Cornelius Veterans Monument at Rotary Plaza with Commander Randy Wally, American Legion Post 86, serving as  Master of Ceremonies.

Maj. Cory Jones

Keynote speaker Major Cory Jones

The keynote speaker will be Major Cory Jones, a Marine Corps Flight Commander and 2001 graduate of North Mecklenburg High School. Jones, the son of Rhonda and Dean Jones of Cornelius.

Jones is part of the crew of RAIDR50 recognized as the 2021 recipient of the James Maguire Award for Exceptional Achievement in Marine Aviation.

The proclamation:

“… after losing two engines, the eight members of this aircrew demonstrated an unparalleled level of heroism by conducting an emergency landing in Thermal, California, while monitoring a fuel leak, extinguishing a fire, experiencing a rapid decompression, and landing without a fully functional landing gear system due to the mid-air collision. … The crew demonstrated a superior level of judgement while dealing with compounding emergencies in the most chaotic environment. Without the efforts of the crew executing sound crew resource management and superior decision-making while responding to life-threatening danger, the aircrew would have perished. With steadfast efforts, superb airmanship, and unexcelled dedication to duty in the hazardous flying conditions, the RAIDR50 aircrew reflected great credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”

Jones also was awarded the USMC Exceptional Aviator Award 2020 in recognition of his role as co-pilot in the same Sept. 29, 2020, incident, according to media reports.

Jones graduated from North Mecklenburg High School and East Carolina University. In 2009, he joined the Marines and became a Naval Aviator, serving as a KC-130J pilot, Aircraft Commander, Aviation Safety Officer, and an academic instructor at Officer Candidate School. He became a Miramar “Raider,” serving as Aviation Safety Officer, Detachment Executive Officer, Assistant Maintenance Officer, and Director of Safety and Standardization.

Now stationed at Cherry Point, NC, Jones serves as the KC-130J Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization Program Manager at the KC-130J Fleet Replacement Detachment.

His personal decorations and awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, 2022 Marine of the Year, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, the Air Strike Medal – Seventh Award.

The event will also include:

– POW/MIA Empty Chair and Wreath of Remembrance ceremonies

– Patriotic music by W.A. Hough High School Concert Choir

– 21-gun salute

– Hough High School and Hopewell High School JROTC

Movie after the ceremony

Following the ceremony, head to the Cain Center for the Arts light refreshments. At approximately 11:40 am, the movie “Devotion” (PG-13) will be shown in the Cain Center theater.

“Devotion” is based on the true story of two elite US Navy fighter pilots who helped turn the tide in the most brutal battle in the Korean War: Jesse Brown, the first Black aviator in Navy history and his fellow fighter pilot and friend, Tom Hudner. Their heroic sacrifices and enduring friendship would ultimately make them the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen.