AUBURN/OPELIKA, Ala. — The cities of Auburn and Opelika were some of the many who paid homage to men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to our country.
Monday morning, the City of Auburn held its 19th annual Mayor’s Memorial Day Breakfast at the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center. Veterans, local dignitaries and other members of the community gathered at the new marquee constructed at the hotel for the event.
Auburn Mayor Bill Ham said when the city began the event 19 years ago, they did not know the event would become as successful as it has.
“So many of our citizens have either been a part of or their families have been a part of making the ultimate sacrifice,” Mayor Ham said. “That’s why we enjoy the freedoms we have and are able to have the holidays and enjoy the lifestyles we have in our country.”
From there, folks made their way to the Auburn Veterans Memorial Monument for a wreath laying.
A few miles away, the City of Opelika held their Memorial Day Service at Opelika City Hall.
Vann Daughtry, who was born and raised in Opelika and served in the U.S. Army served as the event’s guest speaker. During the event, he encouraged attendees to educate the younger generations about the true meaning of Memorial Day.
“The men and women who gave their lives to serve this nation are by no doubt heroes,” Retired Sgt. Vann Daughtry said. “When their country called, they answered. Some volunteered, some were drafted, but it didn’t make any difference how they found their way into the ranks of the military. Each took it upon themselves to serve faithfully and to their fullest.”
Albert Killian, an Opelika resident who served in the Korean War continued his tradition of attending the ceremony.
“I haven’t missed one of these ceremonies since they started,” Killian said. “It’s incumbent upon me to show honor, and this is one of the best ways of doing it.”