The University of Tennessee at Martin will hold its 23rd Memorial Day Commemoration ceremony at 9 a.m., Friday, May 26, on the north plaza of the main campus between the Boling University Center and the Paul Meek Library. The event is open to the public, and parking will be available in the lot adjacent to the university center and bordered by Mt. Pelia Road.
U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN 8th District) will be among those attending and offer a legislative welcome. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Dennis Cavin will be the guest speaker.
Kustoff is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. The University of Memphis and University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law graduate serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, the oldest committee in the U.S. Congress. In addition to serving on the full House Committee on Ways and Means, he was also appointed to serve on the subcommittees on tax, trade and Social Security. The Shelby County native lives in Germantown.
Cavin is a Martin, Tennessee, native and UT Martin agriculture graduate who retired in July 2004 following 34 years of military service. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant as a member of the university’s ROTC battalion, rose through the ranks as an officer and earned multiple recognitions during his career. He then worked for the Lockheed Martin Corp. and retired in March 2013 after serving as a vice president in two different roles with the company.
In addition to the speakers, the program will include presentation of the colors by UT Martin Army ROTC Skyhawk Battalion cadets Gracie Carmon, a senior natural resources management major from Cunningham, Clayton Adkins, a first-year engineering major from Jackson, Brandon Boaz, a second-year health and human performance major from McKenzie, and Dale Kammer, a senior criminal justice major from Indian Mound.
The national anthem will be sung by Dr. Roberto Mancusi, professor of music. A university welcome will be offered by Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier, UT Martin interim chancellor, a 21-gun salute will be presented by the university’s Department of Public Safety and Martin Police Department, and taps will be played by Jonah Simmons, a junior music major from Greenfield, and Aaron MacDonald, a senior music major from Henry. Cadet Logan Sakarapanee, an MBA student from Mt. Juliet, will offer the invocation and benediction, and Lt. Col. Bernard House, UT Martin professor of military science, will be the commemoration’s master of ceremonies.
Memorial Day is observed annually on the last Monday in May and honors those who have died in service to the U.S. The observance was originally named Decoration Day in 1868, changed to Memorial Day in 1982 and declared a national holiday in 1971.
In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved to Watkins Auditorium located inside the Boling University Center. Contact the Office of University Relations at 731-881-7615 for additional information.