Radford’s 19th annual 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 29, at the Gazebo in Radford’s Bisset Park.
The program will feature Virginia Delegate Joseph Yost (R-12th), Dana Jackson, US Navy Retired, and Radford Arsenal Commander Lt Col Alicia Masson.
In front of the Gazebo, a dramatic “Field of Crosses” honors Radford’s servicemen lost in past wars.
Each cross represents one of 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 by the Vietnam Veterans, “To The Colors” by bugler SPC4 Stephanie Ashwell, followed by the National Anthem sung by the Radford High School Choir, directed by Darren Goad. The invocation by Pastor Hal Adams, Radford Worship Center, and city greetings from vice-mayor Dr. Richard Hershberger, 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 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 Arsenal, 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. It 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 674-6389 evenings.
Major sponsors for the annual activities include VFW Post 776, American Legion Post 30, The Radford News Journal, WRAD 1460 AM, Vietnam Veterans, Ruritan, and the Citizen Memorial Day Committee. Emcees for the program will be Bob Thomas and Laurie Buchwald. Sam Wall, editor of the News Journal, will introduce the RAAP commander.
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, Realtor Bill Bondurant, Mullins Funeral Home, Sherry Long, with sound system courtesy of John Fox of “Music You Remember.” 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