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Tributes planned to honor the fallen

Tributes planned to honor the fallen
Major Kevin Brandon of Medina will be the guest speaker at the University of Tennessee at Martin 12th annual Memorial Day Commemoration set for 9 a.m. Friday at the Hall-Moody Administration Building entrance.
Brandon has served 16 years in the Army and is currently the west region recruiting manager working out of Jackson. He has served overseas in Honduras, Bulgaria, Germany, Kuwait and Iraq, and has held numerous positions including platoon leader, troop commander and company commander.
Brandon is a 1999 graduate of UT Martin where he received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business and is a 2009 graduate of Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., where he earned a master’s in public administration.
Additionally, he is a graduate of advanced individual training, officer candidate school and the company level pre-command course.
Some of Brandon’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals and a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
The memorial program is also dedicated to decorated U.S. Navy veteran, Dr. Harold Smith, UT Martin professor emeritus of animal science, who served in World War II as a dive bomber pilot aboard the USS Hancock. He flew bombing missions in the Pacific theatre and over mainland Japan.
Maj. Christopher McDaniel, of the UT Martin Department of Military Science and Leadership, will serve as master of ceremonies. Dr. Roberto Mancusi, assistant professor of music, will perform the national anthem, and Dr. Jerry Gresham, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, will offer the invocation.
Phil Dane, director of athletics, will give the benediction, and Chancellor Tom Rakes, will welcome guests. Lt. Col. Timothy Marshall, professor of military science, will introduce the guest speaker. The UT Martin Army ROTC Battalion will present the colors before the ceremony and Staff Sgt. Charles Sadler will present “Taps” at the end of the observance. The university’s Department of Public Safety will honor area veterans with a gun salute.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Hardy M. Graham Stadium parking lot directly across from the Hall-Moody Administration Building. Eastbound and westbound traffic on University Street, in front of the administration building, will be stopped briefly as the flag ceremony begins and during the gun salute. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Student Life Center on the UT Martin campus.           
Area veterans who wish to be recognized during the event are asked to call 881-7150 to confirm attendance.
Members of Weakley County veterans organizations will observe Memorial Day with a ceremony planned at the Weakley County War Memorial on the Courthouse Square in Dresden May 28 at 11 a.m.
Americans pay tribute on Memorial Day to those who fell in battle defending the nation.
The observance had its beginnings following the Civil War when Southerners marked the graves of those who died fighting for the Confederacy. Today, the country honors all of America’s war dead – those who died so that freedom might live.
Their selfless sacrifice spans the history of America, from the Revolutionary War to the present.
“These patriots left their homes and families when their country called and gave the last measure of devotion in defense of freedom,” Weakley County Veterans Affairs officer Ron Cheatham said.
All veterans present will salute their fallen comrades and ask that all citizens of Weakley County pause to remember America’s fallen sons and daughters on this upcoming Memorial Day.

WCP 5.22.12