CHARLOTTE — A Rockingham native will be among those representing the U.S. in commemorating the 74th anniversary of D-Day.
Jarod Ricks, as part of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band, has been selected to perform in Normandy on Wednesday in events marking the launch of the pivotal Allied liberation of Europe during World War II on June 6, 1944. The band is the first from a North Carolina university to be invited.
Several members of the band have relatives who fought at Normandy and some never made it home. Two members of the band, Emily Asbill and Tyriq Evans, will speak at the D-Day commemoration ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery. The band will plant flags — each bearing the name of a veteran — on campus and again at Normandy’s Omaha Beach on June 4. Each band member will wear a sash in memory or in honor of a veteran from any war at each performance while in France.
Amid post-war optimism and a renewed American commitment to educational opportunities, UNC-Charlotte’s first students returned home and enrolled in the college created for them. WWII Veterans propelled UNC-Charlotte toward what it has become today.
Jacob Ricks, of Rockingham, will be with UNC-Charlotte’s Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day.