November 11, 2021
The City of Anniston hosted a Veterans Day event at Centennial Memorial Park. This event was well attended and the rain held out for the celebration. Many Veterans enjoyed music performed by Judge Alice Martin, Ryan Robertson, and Steve Chappell.
This event was organized and lead by Ken Rollins who, as always, did an amazing job of honoring all the Veterans. Granted he did give a brief moment of levity when during the Medley of Services he jokingly said they were all done prior to the Marine service song being played. Don’t worry the Marines were well represented and had no trouble reminding Mr. Rollins of that fact!
Overall, this event was a wonderful celebration of the sacrifices made by service members and their families. There was a perfect mixture of American pride and an honoring of the solemnness from the greatest sacrifice of all that many service men and women face.
The Young Marines started the event off by leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Judge Alice Martin then lead the crowd in a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem. Anniston Mayor, Jack Draper welcomed all visitors and thanked them for coming out. A touching song was performed by Ryan Roberson and then Calhoun County Circuit Court Clerk, Kim McCarson welcomed the many guests. Mr. Steve Chappell sang Where Eagles Dare. There was a Memorializing of Alan Ray Chaffin in the form of a Wreath Laying followed by several musical performances.
One of the most touching portions of the event was the Fallen Comrade Ceremony performed by the Young Marines followed by Laying of the Roses as families remembered those that were lost. This was followed by Amazing Grace performed by Brian Conary on bagpipes.
The ceremony had several more musical performances and a thank you to Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge for being a dedicated supporter and volunteer of the Memorial Park. Special recognition was made for late Commissioner Eli Henderson for his devotion support and strong presence in the creation of the park. A memorial was revealed prior to the Veterans Event honoring Elie Henderson. He was represented by his wife Commissioner Carolyn Henderson, daughter, and grandson. The conclusion of the event was an honor volley and Taps.
The city of Anniston was the only city to host a Veterans Day event and it was appreciated by many local city representatives and elected officials. A few present were Anniston Councilwoman Mille Harris, Anniston Councilmen Jay Jenkins and DD. Roberts. Mayor of Weaver, Wayne Willis, and the Anniston Mayor, Jack Draper was present. In addition, as noted, Commissioner Carolyn Henderson was present as well as Commissioner Lee Patterson. Anniston public information officer, Jackson Hodges did document the ceremony and that is available for viewing on the Anniston site Facebook page.