By Morgan Bryce
Retired Maj. Douglas Barrett was the featured speaker at the city of Opelika’s Memorial Day services on Monday in front of City Hall.
A highly decorated Army veteran and member of the Auburn University Veterans Association, Barrett’s 16-minute speech covered the highlights of his military career, including his personal view of the Memorial Day holiday.
“Memorial Day is about those who give their lives in service to their country. Some of them may have died from sickness, others in training and a large number in fighting for freedom,” Barrett said. “This is not a day to discuss why we have wars or why people fight. The politics don’t matter, their righteousness of the actions don’t affect the sacrifice that these people made for us.”
Barrett’s long list of accolades from his military career include the Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service medals, four Army Commendation medals, five Army Achievement medals and a NATO medal, among many others.
Following an introduction from the mayor, there was a laying of the wreath and presentation of colors by the Opelika Fire Department and its Honor Guard, singing of the National Anthem by Opelika High School student Camille Slaughter, patriotic poem recited by Danielle Fornea, playing of TAPS by OHS Band Director Neil Sasser and invocation and benediction by Dr. Rev. George McCulloh of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.
Proceeding the event was a reception held at the Museum of East Alabama.