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MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVED

RADFORD — “Our national flag flies at half-staff today to express our profound gratitude for the acts of brave patriots who gave the full measure so that we might live free,” said Lt. Col. Jon Drushal, commander of the Radford Arsenal, at the ninth annual Memorial Day Service in Radford Monday.
“But, we must wonder, is that enough? It is fitting that on this Memorial Day, we turn our thoughts to the renewal of our own dedication to the cause of freedom,” he said.
The service drew hundreds of onlookers, there to pay tribute to those who died in battle, those still in service, and those whose military service was in past wars. They watched as the area’s Vietnam veterans raised the giant flag adjacent to the Bisset Park Gazebo, then lowered it to half staff as is the tradition on this day, followed by the National Anthem sung by local gospel artist Eddie Richards.
The Radford High School Band, directed by Daniel Frankenberger, brought members of various services to their feet, saluting as each branch of military service’s song was played. And David Nutter, who represents the City of Radford in the Virginia General Assembly, introduced Drushal as a hero in his own right, with many years of service abroad and in the United States.
“Let us pay tribute today for the heroes who gave their full and final measure,” Drushal told the crowd.
“Let us make a personal commitment to do two things. Let us visit the gravesites of fallen soldiers and give thanks. Let us also reach out and shake the hand of a living hero — whether it’s someone in uniform waiting in line at the grocery store, or a veteran standing along a parade route saluting Old Glory as she passes by. Tell them you understand the depths of their commitment. Tell them you honor their service. Tell them simply ‘thanks,’ ” Drushal said.
Gary Harris, commander of VFW Post 776, rededicated the trees planted in honor of those who served in several past wars, displayed with appropriate marker stones in the Veterans Memorial Garden in Bisset Park. Four of the trees have been newly planted to replace ones vandalized several months ago. Certificates were presented to the Radford Business Professional Women’s Organization, Radford Fire Department, and the Radford Fraternal Order of Police for donating funds to replace the trees.
Rev. Paul Lane, pastor of First Baptist Church in Radford, provided the Invocation, and Radford Mayor Tom Starnes welcomed the crowd to “this meaningful service.”
A reading of the 59 local citizens who gave their lives in past wars, by Dana Jackson, U.S. Navy retired and commander of American Legion Post 30, was followed by the RHS Band playing “Amazing Grace.”
A 21-gun salute was fired by the VFW, and the ceremony concluded with “Taps” by bugler Gary Jackson, a retired Army lieutenant colonel.
The annual event is sponsored by VFW Post 776, American Legion Post 30, Vietnam Veterans, Fairlawn-Radford Ruritan, and The Southwest Times.

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MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVED

RADFORD — “Our national flag flies at half-staff today to express our profound gratitude for the acts of brave patriots who gave the full measure so that we might live free,” said Lt. Col. Jon Drushal, commander of the Radford Arsenal, at the ninth annual Memorial Day Service in Radford Monday.
“But, we must wonder, is that enough? It is fitting that on this Memorial Day, we turn our thoughts to the renewal of our own dedication to the cause of freedom,” he said.
The service drew hundreds of onlookers, there to pay tribute to those who died in battle, those still in service, and those whose military service was in past wars. They watched as the area’s Vietnam veterans raised the giant flag adjacent to the Bisset Park Gazebo, then lowered it to half staff as is the tradition on this day, followed by the National Anthem sung by local gospel artist Eddie Richards.
The Radford High School Band, directed by Daniel Frankenberger, brought members of various services to their feet, saluting as each branch of military service’s song was played. And David Nutter, who represents the City of Radford in the Virginia General Assembly, introduced Drushal as a hero in his own right, with many years of service abroad and in the United States.
“Let us pay tribute today for the heroes who gave their full and final measure,” Drushal told the crowd.
“Let us make a personal commitment to do two things. Let us visit the gravesites of fallen soldiers and give thanks. Let us also reach out and shake the hand of a living hero — whether it’s someone in uniform waiting in line at the grocery store, or a veteran standing along a parade route saluting Old Glory as she passes by. Tell them you understand the depths of their commitment. Tell them you honor their service. Tell them simply ‘thanks,’ ” Drushal said.
Gary Harris, commander of VFW Post 776, rededicated the trees planted in honor of those who served in several past wars, displayed with appropriate marker stones in the Veterans Memorial Garden in Bisset Park. Four of the trees have been newly planted to replace ones vandalized several months ago. Certificates were presented to the Radford Business Professional Women’s Organization, Radford Fire Department, and the Radford Fraternal Order of Police for donating funds to replace the trees.
Rev. Paul Lane, pastor of First Baptist Church in Radford, provided the Invocation, and Radford Mayor Tom Starnes welcomed the crowd to “this meaningful service.”
A reading of the 59 local citizens who gave their lives in past wars, by Dana Jackson, U.S. Navy retired and commander of American Legion Post 30, was followed by the RHS Band playing “Amazing Grace.”
A 21-gun salute was fired by the VFW, and the ceremony concluded with “Taps” by bugler Gary Jackson, a retired Army lieutenant colonel.
The annual event is sponsored by VFW Post 776, American Legion Post 30, Vietnam Veterans, Fairlawn-Radford Ruritan, and The Southwest Times.

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