Memorial Day ceremony integrated with graduation
May 10, 2012
FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 9, 2012) -- Fort Benning will honor fallen service members while saluting some of the Army's newest Soldiers during the installation's annual Memorial Day observance. The observance will be held at 9 a.m. May 24 on the parade field at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. It's the same time and location as the graduation of more than 210 Soldiers in D Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment.
The observance will be integrated into the graduation, said Cliff Davis, Fort Benning events coordinator.
The ceremony will begin with music by the Maneuver Center of Excellence Band. The memorial portion of the event includes a wreath laying, a firing of three volleys and the playing of Taps. Guest speaker for the graduation will be Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Lindsey, a training brigade sergeant major at Fort Sill, Okla., whose son is in the graduating class.
Capt. Terrance Favaroth, D Company commander, said he was honored to have the company involved in the postwide remembrance ceremony.
"It's a privilege for this company to be a part of (it)," he said. "It's our way of fusing the new with the fallen heroes … paying tribute to both the Soldiers coming into the military and the Soldiers who have already paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country."
Favaroth said more than 500 Family members, friends and members of the community usually turn out for a graduation of this size. Davis said about 400 typically show up for the annual Memorial Day ceremony.
Combining the two ceremonies complement each other, Favaroth said.
In previous years, the ceremony has been held at the cemetery on the actual holiday, but last year it was combined with a graduation. The event, which is expected to last about an hour, is open to the public.
After the ceremony, the memorial wreath will be moved to the front of the National Infantry Museum.
Other area observances
• Andersonville National Historic Site will commemorate Memorial Day with the raising of the Avenue of Flags May 25 in the National Cemetery and placement of flags on individual grave sites May 26. A Memorial Day service, held at the cemetery rostrum, includes music, a guest speaker and a wreath laying. Admission is free. For more information, call 229-924-0343.
• The National Infantry Museum has a lineup of activities on Memorial Day. A paver dedication ceremony begins at 10 a.m., World War II veterans will be honored at World War II Street at 11 a.m. and a flag retirement ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Throughout the weekend, from May 26-28, a living history program will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at World War II Street. For more information, call 706-685-5800.
• The National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus will honor service members with Music Worth A Thousand Men, a musical program from 6 to 8 p.m. May 25. This free, interactive presentation includes a demonstration of period instruments and a concert of Civil War-era songs by performers in period naval uniform. For more information, call 706-327-9798.
• Each year, Roosevelt's Little White House Historic Site in Warm Springs, Ga., hosts the Memorial Day Weekend Swim the Warm Springs. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 26-28, the public is invited to swim in the historic pools built by President F.D. Roosevelt as a place for therapy. Normally kept empty for preservation, the shallow pools will be filled with naturally warm spring water. Space is limited to 80 per session, so reservations are suggested. Tickets are $20 for adults, $12.50 for ages 6 to 17, and $80 for a family package. For more information, call 706-655-5870.
• Florence Marina State Park in Omaha, Ga., is holding a Memorial Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 26-28. Parking is $5 and patriotic crafts are $2. For more information, call 229-838-4706.