Radford’s annual Memorial Day service, the largest in the region, honors all of the city’s military lost in battle, as well as honoring all military, past and present.
Due to state coronavirus limitations, this year’s 22nd annual ceremonies had to be canceled, but the organizing committee has arranged to re-broadcast the 2019 service on the WRAD Talk Network: 101.7, 103.5, 107.l and 1460 AM, to continue the tradition of thanking those who have served our nation and region.
The taped ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 25, as recorded at Radford’s Bisset Park.
The event which normally takes place 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.
Last year's 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 Rev. Kathy Dunagan, Grace Episcopal Church, and city greetings from mayor David Horton precede the Radford High School Band, directed by Daniel Frankenberger, in a musical salute to America’s Armed Forces.
Speakers from 2019 include 12th District Del. Chris Hurst; 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.”
Submitted by Bob Thomas