Governor Roy Cooper today ordered all United States and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 in honor of U.S. Army First Lieutenant James Earl Wright and all those who have fought for our country overseas and never returned home. 1st Lt. Wright was born in Lumber Bridge, North Carolina, and first enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 17 after graduating from Newton-Conover High School.
He was a member of L Co, 120th Infantry Regiment of the North Carolina National Guard in Parkton, North Carolina prior to his activation. 1st Lt. Wright heroically served in the Army during World War II and was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division when he died in combat in 1944 during a retreat across the Moselle River near Dornot, France, in an area known as the "Horseshoe Woods."
After more than 70 years, he will be returned home to family providing much needed closure to his loved ones. He will lie in honor at the Oakdale Cemetery, located on Hwy 20, in Lumber Bridge, NC on October 12, 2021 to be honored by all North Carolinians and as expression of our state’s highest gratitude and respects.
Statement from Governor Roy Cooper:
“James E. Wright made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our state and country, and we are grateful for his selfless service. Our prayers are with his family as they experience this special and emotional reunion."
Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are also encouraged to fly flags at half-staff for the duration of time indicated.