We invite you and your family to join us in respectfully remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day. Our 16th Annual Wiregrass Memorial Day Ceremony pays tribute to our fallen heroes and the sacrifices they have made for our freedom.
This free event is open to the entire family. It includes a dynamic keynote speaker, patriotic music, cannon firing detail and taps, plus a flower-laying ceremony and picnic barbecue lunch.
We are thrilled to welcome dynamic activist and disabled Marine combat veteran, Kenny Bass, as our keynote speaker. Kenny, and his service dog, Atlas, will be on hand to walk us through his time in the Iraq War, being injured, and post-war life with PTSD and other combat-related trauma. But ultimately Kenny’s story centers around the redemption he found through his service dog, Atlas. Because of his connection with Atlas, he started the Battle Buddies Foundation.
You will hear that after returning from combat, Kenny found himself taking over 30 pills a day, and still struggling with a steadily decreasing quality of life. After raising concerns about the high number of medications Kenny was on, his treating physician at the VA prescribed a service dog. And while the VA was willing to write the prescription, Kenny was on his own to find an animal and pay for training, to the tune of $15,000. It was then Kenny decided that no other veteran should have to deal with those struggles. With the help of Marine combat veteran Joshua Rivers, Kenny created The Battle Buddy Foundation in 2013, which provides service dogs to veterans at no charge.
With the current veteran suicide epidemic, The Battle Buddy Foundation is dedicated to bridging that gap so that no veteran is left behind. The Battle Buddy Foundation accomplishes all of this with absolutely no cost to the veteran because of generous sponsors, donors, and the incredible support at fundraising events.
Sunset Memorial Park will be receiving donations and we’re happy to announce we’ll be matching whatever is raised.
For more information about Battle Buddies, visit tbbf.org.
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was first observed after the American Civil War. Observers would gather around the graves of fallen soldiers to clean and decorate those graves with flowers collected nearby. These soldiers had died far from home and had no one to care for their graves. In this way Americans came together to ensure that our fallen soldiers would be cared for in death as they had cared for us in life.
Over the years the name the holiday was known by gradually changed as the tradition of caring for the graves of those fallen far from home spread. Then, in 1968, Congress signed Memorial Day into official law and cemented the name we know it by today.
At Sunset Memorial Park we observe Memorial Day on the final Monday of every May with food and drink, guest speakers, music, and of course decoration of the graves of fallen soldiers. Come join us this Memorial Day in remembering the price of freedom.