City honoring veterans Saturday afternoon
Donald Graves, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, will be the guest speaker at the the city of Burleson’s annual Military Veteran Tribute. Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter will emcee the event that will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Plaza.
The plaza is located at 298 E. Renfro St. at corner of Renfro and the I-35W service road.
Graves entered the Marine Corps at the age of 17 on Aug. 17, 1942. He served two tours in the South Pacific. On Feb. 19, 1945, his division hit the beach on Iwo Jima and secured Mt. Suribachi in three days. Thus, the famous flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. In the next five weeks of heavy fighting, the island was secured. His 5th Marine Division also served in the occupation of Japan. He was discharged Jan. 12, 1946.
Since then, Graves has been a singer and performer in Detroit, Michigan and Hollywood, California. After a few years, he was called to Christian ministry as a pastor and singer.
The event includes the posting of colors and a ceremonial wreath, bagpipe and patriotic music. A member of the Burleson High School JROTC will play “taps” from the balcony of the B&G Building.
Matt Powell will do the honors with the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance. Shetter will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Lilly McClendon will sing the national anthem.
The BISD Criminal Justice Academy Honor Guard will present the colors and the wreath presentation.
Steve Pruitt will play “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.
The finale is the singing of “Salute to the Armed Forces.”
The city-owned Veterans Memorial Plaza includes a fountain; bricks engraved with the names of local service members; the bronze eagle and Purple Heart memorial that were unveiled in 2009; and the names of veterans from the Johnson County Veterans Memorial – World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam – were placed in the ground next to the Operation Remember kiosk in 2010. A POW monument was added in 2011.