The faces and names of Central Texas soldiers who died in combat last year will be added to a memorial at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday.
The Memorial Day event will include remarks by the mayors of Killeen and Harker Heights and guest speaker Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, as well as a prayer, presentation of colors, the playing of the national anthem, laying of wreaths, a walk through the memorial monument path and dedication of the 2013 memorial slate, followed by 21 Gun Salute, Taps and the singing of “Amazing Grace.”
“It’s a solemn ceremony,” said Guadalupe Lopez, co-chairman for the Memorial Day ceremony.
This is the seventh year the cemetery is holding the event, and Lopez said he expects about 1,000 residents to attend and show their respects to the fallen soldiers.
“It’s not just a day of going out and having picnics and eating,” Lopez said. “We need to keep (continuing to dedicate) that day for all those that died trying to serve our county. ... We should never forget the lives that they gave for our country.”
State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, encourages residents to thank veterans, donate to charitable causes that support them, offer to buy a meal for a soldier or veteran, or simply fly the American flag with pride on Memorial Day.
“As you gather with your friends and family for the unofficial start of summer, it is my hope that you take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by our members in uniform and their families,” Fraser said. “It’s an incredibly easy gesture to say thank you to our troops and we should strive to find ways to show them our appreciation on a regular basis.”
- A Memorial Day ceremony is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. A memorial slate will be dedicated for Central Texas soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan in 2013. Go to www.avac-centex.org.
- VFW Post 9191, at 3307 Zephyr Road, will open its doors at noon
- Monday for free food and music. There also will be a raffle. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Call 254-690-7575.
- VFW Post 9192, at 301 Wolf St., will serve brisket, chicken, ribs, hamburgers and hot dogs plus side dishes at 2 p.m. Monday. The event is open to the public and donations are appreciated. Call 254-526-2767.
- The MECATX musical ensemble will play patriotic music during a ceremony honoring the Military Fallen Heroes of Killeen at 5 p.m. at American Legion Post 223 Memorial Monument and the Killeen Centennial Monument in Condor Park.
HARKER HEIGHTS EVENTS
- The 10th annual Harker Heights Memorial Day parade starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Harker Heights High School and will proceed along Farm-to-Market 2410, turn right at Miller’s Crossing and ending at City Hall. Farm-to-Market 2410 from Harker Heights High School to Walgreen’s will be closed from 8:45 to 10:45 a.m.
- A ceremony will begin about 10:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial located outside City Hall, 305 Miller’s Crossing. Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters Jr., commander of 13th Sustainment Command, and Harker Heights Mayor Rob Robinson will give remarks. The ceremony also includes a traditional wreath-laying.
- There will be a memorial 5k run/walk at 8 a.m. Saturday at Harker Heights Community Park, 1501 E. Farm-to-Market 2410. Registration is $25. Go to www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us/index.php/athletics/events.
- Helping Fort Hood’s Heroes is hosting a fundraiser at noon Saturday at VFW Post 3892, 201 VFW Drive in Harker Heights. All donations will go directly to the National Compassion Fund for the families and victims of the April 2 Fort Hood shooting. There will be music by the Josh Merrell Experience, Melissa Brooke Band, Carolina Comedown, Ashley Plumlee and the Mistress Derringer Band. There also will be a silent auction, raffle and family fun. Admission is donation-based.
COPPERAS COVE EVENTS
- Knights of Columbus Council 6658 will hold a memorial for fallen Catholic war veterans at 10:15 a.m. Sunday at Holy Family Church, 1001 Georgetown Road. Roll call is for names submitted. Call 254-547-3735.
- Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at 1 p.m. Monday at the organization’s Headquarters, 202 S. Fourth St. All veterans organizations are invited to lay wreaths. To RSVP, call Jonathan Haywood at 254-681-8029.