The 500 Festival today announces that Brigadier General Marcus B. Annibale, USMC, will be the keynote speaker at The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service. The Memorial Service will be held Friday, May 26 at 3:30 p.m. at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. The event is free and open to the public.
“We are truly honored to have Brigadier General Annibale speak at The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “This Memorial Day weekend, we will pause to reflect on the sacrifices of the selfless men and women who lost their lives serving and defending our country so that we may live in the freedom we are able to enjoy each and every day.”
Brigadier General Annibale assumed the duties as Director, Expeditionary Warfare (OPNAV N95) in July 2022 after previously serving as the Chief of Staff, Naval Striking and Support Forces, NATO. Originally from Fairfax, VA, Brigadier General Annibale was commissioned in 1991 after graduating from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. After completing The Basic School, he attended flight training and was designated as an AV-8B Harrier pilot. His command assignments include serving as the Commanding Officer of Marine Attack Squadron 513 and the Commanding Officer of Marine Aircraft Group 13. His operating forces assignments primarily include Marine Attack Squadron 513 and Marine Attack Squadron 311, with several embarkations on the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Amphibious Task Force West and the Unit Deployment Program to Japan. Brigadier General Annibale has flown combat missions in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, and participated in numerous exercises in the Middle East and Pacific.
He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, Tactical Air Control Party Course, Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, Senior Planners Course and served as the Commandant’s Fellow to Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies where he earned a Masters’ Degree in International Public Policy. He has flown over 2,200 hours in the AV-8B, was combat qualified in the F-35B and has over 2,500 mishap-free flight hours. His personal decorations include a Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Air Medal with Strike numeral Two, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star, and the Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two Gold Stars.
Joining Brigadier General Annibale at The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service is Adjutant General, Major General R. Dale Lyles of the Indiana National Guard. As Indiana’s senior military official, General Lyles oversees the thousands of soldiers, airmen, reserve volunteers, and civilians who make up the ranks of the Indiana National Guard and all-volunteer Indiana Reserve. A native of Salem, IN, General Lyles has received several honorable medals including the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and many others.
The Memorial Service will include the joint service color guard presentation of colors and performances by the Capital City Chorus and the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division Band. A wreath-laying ceremony and a horse-drawn caisson will be presented by the Indiana National Guard Headquarters Ceremonial Unit. Fallen servicemen and women will also be honored with the playing of the “Taps”, a rifle salute, and a flyover.
“The Indy 500 occurs every Memorial Day weekend, honoring the patriotism and ultimate sacrifice of our service members,” said Brigadier General Annibale. “It is my esteemed and humble honor to participate in the 2023 500 Festival Memorial Service and pay tribute to our fallen service members and to their families.”
To learn more about The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service please visit 500Festival/memorial.
The 500 Festival Memorial Service is sponsored by: The American Legion, OneAmerica, Rolls-Royce, Nameless Catering, 95.5 WFMS (Cumulus Media), the exclusive radio partner, and WISH-TV, the exclusive statewide broadcast partner. WISH-TV will stream the event live and the day of the event and broadcast it commercial-free on Memorial Day, May 29 at 10 a.m. EST on WISH-TV with an encore on WNDY-TV23 at 2:00 p.m. EST.