During this year’s Memorial Day service in downtown Franklin, there will be no community band, no honor guard, no 21-gun salute, no wreath-laying ceremony, no reading of the new bricks added to the walkway or presentation of the flag. But Veterans Service Officer Jeff Vaughn has been able to salvage a few traditions.
Beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday a ceremony will be aired on WC-TV, simulcast on both the Franklin and Brentwood city TV stations and broadcast on WAKM-AM. It can also be viewed on Facebook and YouTube.
Although the program won’t contain the traditions the community has come to love, it will, nevertheless, honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who returned to make better lives for their families and serve their communities and have since died.
With flags will at half-staff, County Mayor Rogers Anderson and Franklin Mayor Ken Moore will speak, video clips from past ceremonies will be a reminder of what has been and will be again and guest speaker Bob Ravener will speak about a veteran’s life from submarine to corporate leader.
A 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Ravener was a submarine officer, battalion commander and an instructor and recruiter at the Naval Academy. After he separated from the Navy and earned his MBA, Ravener entered the corporate world, helping to take Fortune 200 companies PepsiCo, The Home Depot, Starbucks, Dollar General and Goodwill International to new levels by building a culture of respect, trust and credibility and encouraging employees to reach higher.
Fifteen bricks have been added to the Memorial walkway this year. They list the following names:
Brig. Gen. Clifford P. Hannum, U.S. Army; Maj. Gen. James F. Hamlet, U.S. Army; Maj. Gen. Jonathan R. Burton, U.S. Army; Lt. Col. Julie E. Ledbetter, WASP U.S. Army; Tech 5 Shotgun Andrews, U.S. Army; Spc. 5 Terry E. Lancaster, U.S. Army; Pvt. Francis Paul Jones, U.S. Army; Sgt. John Lee Carney, U.S. Army; Lance Corp. J. Tommy Smithson, USMC; Lt. Col. Jack Grigsby, USAF; Pvt. Harry Thomson, U.S. Army; Senior Master Sgt. Harold E. Given, USAF; Lt. Cmdr. John C. Schmitt, U.S. Navy; Sgt. Michael A. Rice, U.S. Army and QM2 Earl J. Mandley, U.S. Navy.