INDIANAPOLIS (May 17, 2017) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500, today announces that General Robert B. Abrams, the Commanding General of the United States Army Forces, will be the Keynote Speaker at the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce. The Memorial Service will be held Friday, May 26 from Noon to 1:00 pm at the Indiana War Memorial in Downtown Indianapolis. The event is free and open to the public.
“We will never forget the sacrifices made by those who defended our country and protected our freedoms,” Abrams said. “Their bravery and selfless service will be remembered and honored on this day, as well as forever.”
General Abrams is a four-star general currently serving as the 22nd Commanding General of the U.S. Army Forces Command. General Abrams has served our country since May of 1982 upon graduation of the U.S. Military Academy. In his 35 years, General Abrams has commanded at every level from Company through Division, including Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division, and has led units in combat operations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We’re honored to have General Abrams speak at this year’s 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “May is about a lot of things in Indiana, but we must not forget to remember those who died to protect us this Memorial Day. General Abrams’ many years of service and sacrifice are truly amazing. His passion for protecting our freedom, and remembering those who died protecting it, are what this Memorial Service is all about.”
Joining General Abrams at the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce, is Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr of the National Guard Bureau. Carr, the Adjutant General of Indiana, was appointed on June 1, 2015, and primarily serves in leadership of the Indiana Army and Air National Guard, the Indiana Guard Reserve, and state employees all totaling over 15,800 personnel to meet state and federal missions. General Carr also began his career upon graduation of the U.S. Military Academy in May of 1983, one year after Abrams.
“Honoring a loved ones’ commitment, dedication, service to state and nation, and ultimately their final sacrifice, is my primary duty,” said Major General Carr. “Let us come together and recognize that no one has given more for the nation than the families of the fallen.”
The Memorial Service will also 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. The caisson carries the remains of the fallen service member, while the caparisoned horse trails behind.
To learn more about the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce, please visit 500Festival.com or click here.
The 500 Festival Memorial Service is sponsored by: Rolls-Royce, OneAmerica, The American Legion, Crown Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery, radio partner, 95.5 WFMS, and WISH TV, who will broadcast the event commercial-free.
About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and fostering 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 $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.