RADFORD –Radford’s Memorial Day service, the largest in the region, will honor all 59 of the city’s military lost in battle, as well as honor all military, past and present. The ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 27, at the gazebo in Radford’s Bisset Park.
The program’s speakers will be Virginia 12th district Delegate Chris Hurst, and Radford Arsenal Commander Lt Col James H. Scott III.
In front of the gazebo, a dramatic “Field of Crosses” honors Radford’s servicemen lost in past wars. Each cross represents one of the 59 from the city who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
Dana Jackson, past Commander of American Legion Post 30, will read those names to the sound of drums.
The service opens with the raising of the American flag and “To the Colors” played by bugler SPC Stephanie Ashwell followed by the national anthem sung by the Radford High School choir directed by Darren Goad.
The invocation by Dr. Kathy Dunagan, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Radford and city greetings from mayor Davis Horton will precede the Radford High School band directed by Daniel Frankenberger, in a musical salute to America’s armed forces.
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”.
The service is free and open to the public, and is broadcast live on WRAD, AM 1460, as a service to those unable to attend.
Attendees receive miniature flags from Woodmen of the World, Lodge 14.
BAE Systems, contractor at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, in association with the Commander’s office, provides the printed program for the ceremonies.
The weekend begins Friday evening, May 26, with a stirring display of hundreds of American flags at the city end of Memorial Bridge.
The display is an annual tradition of the Dublin-Radford Ruritan Club, with each flag representing a person being honored by family or friends. The display will remain on view until Monday.
Those wishing to place a flag should contact Tereba Bott at 540-577-2122 in the evening.
Major sponsors for the annual activities include: VFW Post 776, American Legion Post 30, The Radford News Journal, WRAD 1460 AM, Vietnam Veterans, Bondurant Realty, Ruritan, and the Citizen Memorial Day Committee. Emcees for the program will be co-chairs Bob Thomas and Laurie Buchwald.
Others assisting with the event include Radford Parks and Recreation, City of Radford, the RHS Music Department, NRV detachment of the Marine Corps League, VFW Post 776 Ladies Auxiliary, Mullins funeral home, Sherry Long. The sound system is courtesy of John Fox of “Music You Remember.”
The manager for the event is Gary Harris, Post 776 Commander.
The service is open and free to the public. For more information, contact Thomas at 540-633-0081