The University of Tennessee at Martin will host its annual Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony at 9 a.m., May 24, in the north plaza between the Boling University center and the Paul Meek Library on the UT Martin main campus. The ceremony will include the installation of a military battle cross outside the library. An open house for the UT Martin Veteran’s Lounge, which has relocated to room 131 in Gooch Hall, will follow the ceremony.
Col. Jack Usrey (U.S. Army) will serve as this year’s ceremony speaker. Usery graduated from UT Martin in 1991 and has served in the military for more than 30 years. He is currently the senior adviser to the adjutant general at Tennessee National Guard Headquarters in Nashville. A photo of the Martin native went viral online in 2017 after a bystander saw him stand at attention to salute a passing funeral procession in the pouring rain.
Members of the Jones-Walker VFW Post 4862 in Union City will present the colors, and Hannah Kent, a UT Martin music education major from Humboldt, will sing the national anthem at the start of the program. Usery will speak following an official welcome from UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver. Chloe Lollar, a UT Martin alumna from Martin, will play Taps at the conclusion of the program.
Memorial Day is observed annually on the last Monday in May and serves to honor those who have died in the protection of the United States of America. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was renamed upon becoming a federal holiday in 1971.
In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center.
For more information, contact Dorothy Gillon, UT Martin coordinator of public occasions, at 731-881-7501.