Special to the Opelika Observer
The city of Opelika will hold its annual Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 11 at City Hall.
“Veterans Day is a time to honor the bravery and sacrifice of all veterans and their families,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller. “We are indebted to these selfless men and women. I invite you to come out and be a part of our celebration and personally thank our local veterans.”
The morning begins with a breakfast from 8 to 9:45 a.m. for veterans and their families at Niffers at the Tracks, located at 917 S. Railroad Ave. in downtown Opelika. The breakfast is free for veterans.
The celebration begins at 10 a.m. Guest speakers are Army Col. Richard Pelham and USMC Col. Chris Richie. They will speak on “Veterans: Why We Serve – Past, Present and Future.” The Opelika High School Choir will also perform.
Pelham, an Opelika native, is a U.S. Army Officer assigned to the faculty of the United States Air Force Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. He is in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting, where he teaches strategic leadership and the profession of arms, future concepts in air power and theater strategy and campaigning. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), the Army Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), the Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star and the NATO Non-Article 5 Medal, along with various other awards. Pelham is married to Opelika native Christy Stanfield and they have two children.
Richie is the Marine Corps Advisor to Air University, a faculty instructor in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting and the Director of the Air War College Executive Leadership Series. He has served in 19 countries and is an award-winning author published in military professional journals and has been honored as a key-note motivational speaker on several occasions.
In the event of rain, the program will move inside City Hall to the City Council chambers.
Immediately following the program, the Museum of East Alabama, located at 121 S. 9th St. in downtown Opelika, will host a special reception to honor all veterans.
All city offices will be closed on Nov. 11 including Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library. The Opelika Sportsplex will be open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and all garbage and recycling schedules will be pushed back one day.
For more information, please contact city of Opelika Community Relations Officer Leigh Krehling by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 334-705-5136.