Reina P. Cunningham
Saturday is Armed Forces Day and event organizer Jim Hyde invites everyone to “Celebrate Freedom” at the Middlesboro City parking lot.
The fourth annual Armed Forces Day Celebration will start at 2 p.m. Middlesboro and Bell County high school bands will be performing.
This year’s guest speaker will be Lt. Col. John Luttrell.
Luttrell was commissioned as an infantry officer in the Kentucky Army National Guard after completing ROTC as a distinguished military graduate and graduating cum laude from Union College in 1988.
Prior to retirement, Luttrell spent 24 years as an infantry officer who led soldiers in three different combat operations — Operation Just Cause (Panama), Operation Desert Shield/Storm (Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq).
Some of Luttrell’s awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, two Bronze Stars, the Meritorious Service Medal, Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal, Combat Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Pathfinder Badge and Expert Infantryman’s Badge.
The Bell County High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard will be presenting the colors prior to the singing of the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, which will be led by the Middlesboro High School Band and to-be-announced Middlesboro and Bell County’s JROTC National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) National Defense Medal Recipients.
According to Karen Potter-Hughes, Regent Kentucky Path Chapter, NSDAR is a non-profit, non-political, volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American History and securing America’s future through better education for children.
The Bronze ROTC Medal will be awarded at the event to exemplary students in a secondary school program. Additionally, there will be a table presentation by Middlesboro JROTC, patriotic singing by Shane Roark, recognition of service personnel by Hyde and a wreath laying ceremony conducted by the Kentucky Path Chapter of the DAR. Immediately following Celebrate Freedom, there will be a gospel concert featuring The Roarks, Malachi, Peggy Inks, Donnie Buell and Jim Hyde.
In case of bad weather, the event will be held in the Civic Center at the end of North 30th Street.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-1010, ext. 205, email@example.com.