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City to honor Alabama National Guard on Memorial Day

Special to the
Opelika Observer

On Monday, May 25th, beginning at 10 a.m. the City will host its annual Memorial Day Services to remember our Military Heroes of all wars who fought for the freedom of our country – many giving their lives in the effort – at the Veterans Memorial Monument which stands in front of Opelika’s City Hall, located at 204 South 7th Street in downtown Opelika.
As with every year’s Celebration / Memorial Service for the past decade, Opelika’s theme will be “Let us NEVER FORGET:  Freedom isn’t Free!”  This year the City of Opelika will honor our “Citizen Soldiers” – our Alabama National Guard.
This year’s special guest speaker is Brigadier General Sylvester Cannon.
Brigadier General Cannon serves as the Commanding General, 135th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Birmingham, Alabama and the Deputy Commanding General, Army National Guard-Combined Arms Support Command – Sustainment Center of Excellence, Ft. Lee, Virginia. In the position of Commander, 135th ESC, he oversees all of the 135th Sustainment Command’s internal and external support missions in support of United States Forces, Multinational Forces and Interagency organizations worldwide.
After receiving his commission, he started his career as a Military Police Officer but later transitioned into Logistics Corps.  He has commanded at the Company, Battalion, and Brigade level as well as serving in a variety of staff assignments.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Troy State University.  In his civilian career, BG Cannon is a Manager with the Alabama Department of Revenue whereby he oversees the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Individual and Corporate Tax Division’s eight regional offices positioned across the state.  He lives here in Opelika!
Following the Memorial Day services, the Museum of East Alabama will host a reception for the public and serve refreshments so that folks can view the extraordinary memorabilia of Opelika’s history, including our soldiers through the years.
A new feature of this year’s Memorial Day activities will include military vehicles on display for the public along Courthouse Square on the Avenue A side of the park, in the parking area, between 10 a.m. and noon. Included in this display will be an ATV with a machine gun, a Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (Zodiac F470) with Outboard Motor, and an Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) with simulator.  There will be military personnel there to answer questions and demonstrate some of the equipment.
We hope you will join us on this special Memorial Day morning as we pay tribute to Alabama’s National Guard “Citizen Soldiers” and remember ALL of our military heroes who have helped to keep America FREE!  In case of rain, the 10 a.m. services will be moved inside City Hall into the City Council Chambers.

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