500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce to take place Friday

500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce to take place Friday

Tue, 2013-05-21

**Updated Featured Speaker: General Daniel B. Allyn, Commanding General of US Army Forces Command

Each year thousands of people gather at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis to honor Indiana’s military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice in America’s wars at the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce. All the excitement that surrounds the annual running of the Indianapolis 500 eagerly pauses for one solemn morning each May as a grateful community gives honor to Hoosiers who died in defense of our country so that others might remain free. The Memorial Service takes place this Friday at noon on the north steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The event is free and open to the public.

UPDATED SPEAKER INFORMATION: The featured speaker, General Daniel B. Allyn, became the 20th commander of United States Army Forces Command earlier this month. As commander of the Army’s largest organization, he is responsible for manning, equipping and training 265,000 active component soldiers. He also oversees the training and readiness of 560,000 soldiers of the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. The Forces Command mission is to provide trained and ready conventional land power to combatant commanders worldwide in defense of the nation at home and abroad. Prior to this post, General Allyn was in command at the platoon through division level and staff assignments at the battalion through Joint Staff level. He served an overseas assignment in Korea and operational deployments for Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, two peacekeeping deployments to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, and Operations Desert Spring and Enduring Freedom in Kuwait, two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and most recently was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XII. A native of Berwick, Maine, General Allyn is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He is also a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses at Fort Benning, GA; the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS; and the Naval War College at Newport, RI.

Guests of honor include Mr. Ted Dickman, Chairman of the 500 Festival Board of Directors; Ms. Autumn Letendre (le-ten-DREE), Gold Star Spouse Speaker; The Honorable Mike Pence, Governor of the State of Indiana; The Honorable Greg Ballard, Mayor of the City of Indianapolis; Major General R. Martin Umbarger, The Adjutant General of Indiana; Brigadier General J. Stewart Goodwin, Commander Indiana Air National Guard and Family members of Hoosier servicemen and women who have died during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

The 500 Festival Memorial Service will also include the joint service Color Guard presentation of colors. Performances will include the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division Band and the Capital City Chorus. A wreath-laying ceremony, dedicated to the memory of all Hoosiers in all wars and conflicts who sacrificed their lives in defense of the nation, will take place while the names of those Indiana service members who have fallen within the past year are read aloud. A special horse-drawn caisson will be presented by the Indiana National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Ceremonial Unit.  The caisson carries the remains of the fallen service member, while the caparison horse trails behind. This rider-less horse, with boots reversed in the stirrups, represents that a leader has fallen and will ride no more. A ceremonial flyover will conclude the service.

The 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce, is sponsored and supported by Rolls-Royce, OneAmerica, The American Legion, radio partner WFMS 95.5 FM and TV partner WNDY-TV, who will be telecasting the event commercial-free.

Please see the detailed timeline below for a schedule of Memorial Service activities (times are approximate and are subject to change).

5 a.m.:                   Monument Circle is closed to traffic

Noon:                    “America the Beautiful” by Capital City Chorus

12:02 p.m.:           Welcoming remarks from Jim Denny (WFMS)

12:04 p.m.:           Remarks from Ted Dickman, 500 Festival Chairman

12:05 p.m.            National Anthem by Major Lisa Kopczynski (Cup-CHIN-ski) and 38th Infantry Division Band

12:14 p.m.            POW/MIA Flag Placement, Daniel Wheeler, Co-Master of Ceremonies

12:16 p.m.            Remarks by Mayor Greg Ballard

12:18 p.m.            Remarks by Governor Mike Pence

12:22 p.m.            Remarks by General Daniel B. Allyn

12:31 p.m.            Remarks by Gold Star Spouse Autumn Letendre (le-ten-DREE)

12:33 p.m.            Laying of the wreaths

12:40 p.m.            Presentation of Caisson; Rifle Salute

12:48 p.m.            Bugler performs Taps        

12:51 p.m.            Battle Hymn of the Republic by 38th Infantry Division Band

12:54 p.m.            Missing man formation flyover (Trojan Horseman of Cincinnati flying the T-6 Texan and the L-17 Navion adorned in the colors of   our United States Air Force)

12:57 p.m.            God Bless America by Capital City Chorus

1 p.m.                    Service concludes

Important Media Information:

  • Out of respect for the service, we ask that ­news media refrain from using news helicopters around the service from noon to 1 p.m.
  • There will be a media zone just to the west of the north spoke on Monument Circle. As to not interfere with the official broadcast, all media must stay in this area.
  • WNDY will be offering an HD, SD and Analog pool feed from their truck located on the North Spoke of Monument Circle. 
  • As to not interfere with event set-up and load in of the fire truck and bleachers, no media trucks will be allowed on Monument Circle prior to 9 a.m.
  • After the ceremony, members of the stage party will gather in a second media zone on Monument Circle across from the Columbia Club and will be available for media interviews from 1 – 1:20 p.m.
  • Contact: Megan Bulla, 500 Festival, office: (317) 614-6128; cell: (317) 294-1904;  mbulla@500festival.com

The mission of the 500 Festival is to advocate and celebrate the spirit, heritage and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®. Through social, cultural and educational events and programs, the 500 Festival enhances the quality of life for all citizens of our communities.

The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 56 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.

Last year, more than 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini-Marathon, fourth grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.


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