Vietnam Memorial

Guests attend a Memorial Day event in May 2022 at Veterans Memorial Park.

A new memorial installed at the Veterans Memorial Park at Sportsman Lake is set to be formally unveiled this weekend, lending Cullman’s customary annual Memorial Day ceremony a special significance for local families who lost service members to airborne conflict during the Vietnam War.

The public is invited to attend the free annual event, which, as always, will honor all area veterans who lost their lives in military service. Scheduled the Saturday before Memorial Day in order to allow guests to attend other events on the Monday holiday itself, the ceremony will be held at the park at 10 a.m., providing an ideal way for all families, whether civilian or in service, to commemorate the lives of the fallen.

Veterans Park, said local veteran Ken Brown, is “a very nice park for a small community like ours, and it’s a great place for families to bring their children and impart to them the importance of honoring our fallen veterans.

“We also have the mobile Alabama Vietnam wall, which features the names of everyone from Alabama who was killed in Vietnam. For some who live outside our area, it could even be a pilgrimage for people to come who wish to honor their veteran by finding their names on the Vietnam wall. For a number of reasons, if you’ve ever thought about coming out to Veterans Park to be a part of the Memorial Day ceremony, this year’s ceremony is the one you’d want to come to.”

This year’s gathering has the additional significance of inducting a new monument at the park, with Master of Ceremonies Don Fallin, a retired Army Colonel and West Point graduate from Fairview who took part in eight combat tours in Army Aviation, dedicating the park’s latest addition: a mounted Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter — colloquially known as the ‘Huey” helicopter that sustained U.S. operations through the Vietnam War.

Following a short presentation honoring all fallen veterans from local VFW Commander Brian Monk, Fallin will recognize five local soldiers who were killed in action while aboard helicopters during the Vietnam War, while welcoming surviving family members on hand for the ceremony.

“We’ll also publicly thank all the people who’ve been instrumental in getting the Huey here as a new addition to the park,” added Brown. “Dr. Michael Schendel, who’s the chairman of the Veterans Park Board, also will introduce and recognize everyone who’s been involved in that effort.”

There’s never a cost to attend the annual Memorial Day ceremony, a rain-or-shine event that’s set to begin this year at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 27 at Veterans Memorial Park. Thanks to the new helicopter installation, finding the park is easier than ever: Just look for the mounted Huey near the main entrance to Sportsman Lake Park, and follow the paved roadway around the entrance loop to the adjacent parking area.{/div}

Benjamin Bullard can be reached by phone at 256-734-2131 ext. 234.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

Trending Video

Recommended for you