RADFORD — This year’s annual Memorial Day service in Radford, the largest in the region, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus limitations. The organizing committee has arranged to broadcast the 2019 service on WRAD Talk Network at 101.7, 103.5, 107.1 and 1460 AM. The taped ceremonies begin at 11 am on Monday, May 25, as recorded last year at Radford’s Bisset Park.
This would have been the city’s 22nd annual service. It honors all Radford military lost in battle and all who have served in the military, past and present.
The event in front of the gazebo, features a dramatic “Field of Crosses” honoring Radford’s servicemen lost in past wars. Each cross represents one of 59 from the city who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
The service opens with the raising of the American Flag “To the Colors” by bugler SPC Stephanie Ashwell, followed by the National Anthem sung by the Radford High School Choir, directed by Darren Goad. The invocation by the Rev. Kathy Dunagan of Grace Episcopal Church and city greetings from Radford Mayor David Horton preceded a performance by the Radford High School Band, directed by Daniel Frankenberger, in a musical salute to America’s Armed Forces.
Speakers include the Hon. Chris Hurst, 12th District Delegate (D); LTC James H. Scott III, former Commander of the Radford Arsenal; and Dana Jackson, U.S. Navy, reading the names of Radford’s dead from all previous wars, to the sound of drums.
The service concludes with Bagpiper Andrew Meeks playing “Amazing Grace” as he moves through the “Field of Crosses,” followed by a 21-gun salute by VFW Post 776, and the playing of “Taps.”
Major sponsors for the annual activities include The Radford News Journal, VFW Post 776, American Legion Post 30, WRAD,1460 AM and WPSK, 107.1 FM, Vietnam Veterans, Bondurant Realty, and the Citizens’ Memorial Day Committee. Emcees for the program are co-chairs Bob Thomas and Laurie Buchwald.
Others assisting with the event include Radford Parks and Recreation, the City of Radford, the NRV Detachment of the Marine Corps League and Mullins Funeral Home with the sound system courtesy of John Fox.