May 4, 2021
INDIANAPOLIS (May 4, 2021) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, today announced that The American Legion will be the new 500 Festival Memorial Service title partner. With its national headquarters in Indianapolis, The American Legion is the largest veterans service organization with nearly 2 million members in more than 12,600 posts throughout the nation and in regions overseas.
“Memorial Day is a time for all Americans to reflect on the debt we owe to the men and women who have laid down their lives to protect our freedoms,” said James W. “Bill” Oxford, national commander of The American Legion. “It is our privilege to sponsor the 500 Festival Memorial Service to honor their memory and provide an opportunity for others to join us in this simple, solemn tribute that shows the loved ones of these heroes that they are remembered and revered.”
Oxford added that remembering America’s fallen veterans once a year simply isn’t enough. "Long after this service has passed, we must continue the legacy for which they died: the causes of liberty, decency and patriotism. The American Legion serves as a catalyst for these principles,” he said.
The Memorial Service will be held Friday, May 28 from noon to 1:00 pm at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. This year’s event will have a limited capacity by invitation only. WISH-TV will provide a livestream option, as well as a broadcast of the event on Memorial Day.
“The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service is a time to honor the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the United States,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “We are thrilled to have The American Legion as a title partner of the longstanding 500 Festival tradition of producing one of the nation’s most respected memorial services. While there is a lot to celebrate in May, we must remember and honor our military personnel around the world.”
The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service will include the posting of colors by the Military Department of Indiana’s Joint Service Color Guard and performances by the Capital City Chorus and the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division Band.
To learn more about The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service, please visit 500Festival.com/memorial. The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service is supported by The American Legion, OneAmerica, WFMS 95.5 FM, and WISH-TV, who will broadcast the event. The Indiana War Memorial graciously hosts the Memorial Service.
About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and foster positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About The American Legion
The American Legion is the largest veterans service organization with nearly 2 million members in more than 12,600 posts across the nation. Chartered by Congress in 1919, The American Legion is committed to mentoring youth and sponsoring wholesome community programs, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security and continued devotion to servicemembers and veterans.