Members of the Opelika Fire Department are pictured during last year’s Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony in Opelika.

Purple Heart recipient to speak at Opelika Memorial Day Service


OPELIKA — The City of Opelika will host a Memorial Day service on Monday, May 27, to honor and remember our military heroes who fought for the freedom of our country, as well as the families who lost loved ones in the line of service.
The event will be held at Courthouse Square at 10 a.m.
Following a welcome by Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and an Invocation by Patrick Hitchman-Craig, pastor of Foundry Opelika, the featured speaker will be Marine Corp Reserve and Alabama Natonal Guard Veteran Kenny Frazier, a Purple Heart recipient.
Frazier joined the Marine Corp Reserve immediately following High School in the summer of 1988 and served six years. In 1993 joined the Auburn Police Department and served for 27 years. While with APD, he joined the Alabama National Guard in 1998, serving six years, including a year and a half on active duty in Iraq, and receiving the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during a suicide bombing. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Faulkner University. He and his wife Amy raised three children, Tiera, Kai and Kenneth Jr.
There will be a presentation of colors and wreath laying ceremony by Opelika Fire Department, music and TAPS, followed by a benediction.
Immediately after the Memorial Day services, the Museum of East Alabama will host a reception for the public to share the extraordinary memorabilia of Opelika’s history.
In the case of rain, the 10 a.m. service will be moved to the Municipal Court Building at 300 Martin Luther King Blvd.

Auburn Memorial Day to feature Mayor’s Breakfast, wreath laying


AUBURN — The Auburn community is invited to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice at two May 27 events.

The 24th annual Mayor’s Memorial Day Breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 27, at the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.
Marine Corps Sgt. Eugene Stanaland will be the guest of honor and the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Veteran Award. The Auburn Heroes Remembered Award will be presented to the family of Marine Corps Capt. David Miller.
Tickets can be purchased at City Hall (144 Tichenor Ave.) and are $25 a person or $250 for a table of eight.

A free memorial wreath laying ceremony will follow the breakfast at 10 a.m. at the Auburn Veterans Memorial Monument at the northeast corner of Ross Street and Glenn Avenue. The ceremony will include a rifle detail performed by VFW Post 5404.
Attendees are encouraged to park at the Douglas J. Watson Municipal Complex, Felton Little Park and the East Glenn Avenue Municipal Parking Lot.
Ross Street between Glenn and Harper avenues and Glenn Avenue between Burton and North Debardeleben streets will be closed during the ceremony to provide room for on-street accessible parking.

AU Memorial Day service to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day


AUBURN — Auburn University’s Veterans Resource Center will host a special Memorial Day ceremony on Friday, May 24, at 11:30 a.m. on Cater Lawn. This year’s ceremony will mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War II.
The ceremony will feature a series of honors and activities designed to remember and celebrate the brave servicemen and servicewomen who sacrificed their lives for our nation. Highlights of the event will include:

  • Presentation of Colors by the Auburn Naval ROTC.
  • National Anthem performed by an Auburn student veteran.
  • Invocation delivered by Chaplain (CPT) Gary Riddle of the Alabama Army National Guard.
  • Guest Speech by Brigadier General Jeffrey L. Newton, U.S. Army (Retired).
  • Wreath Laying Ceremony to honor fallen servicemembers, with a special tribute to the local Gold Star family of Billy Stelpflug.
    In addition to these commemorations, 2,501 flags will be placed on Cater Lawn to represent each American servicemember who died on D-Day.
    The ceremony is open to the public, and all community members are encouraged to attend to pay their respects and learn more about the significant role Auburn University and its veterans have played in our nation’s military history.

The Veterans Resource Center at Auburn University provides support and guidance for veteran students and their families through various programs and services designed to help them succeed in their educational and career endeavors.
For more information about the Memorial Day ceremony, please contact the Veterans Resource Center directly at