On a typical Memorial Day in downtown Franklin, a crowd of 350 to 500 people gather at Five Points to honor military veterans and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving their country.
And even though Memorial Day 2020 is anything but typical as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictions it has placed on large gatherings, a service is still being held Monday at 10 a.m. The difference, of course, is that this year’s gathering will be held virtually in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Lawn chairs, bottled waters and sunglasses won’t be necessary, but the intent of the service and its message will be just as stirring, according to Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson.
“It’s a tip of the hat to our veterans and it’s an honor,” he said. “We should not let something like the pandemic in any way slow us down or show that we do not respect this holiday, this period of time that’s so important.
“Memorial Day is very important to us, and even more so during this time that we realize we’re fighting an unknown battle. For those men and women that have fought that battle and give their all, it’s appropriate and the right thing to do to honor those families that have lost someone.”
The Memorial Day Service will be produced for broadcast by the county’s WC-TV personnel. The service will continue to honor fallen veterans and include the addition of 15 new brick pavers to the Veterans’ Memorial Park.
Franklin resident Bob Ravener, a retired Navy officer, will be the guest speaker. Prior to entering the private sector, Ravener served in the U.S. Navy as a submarine officer. He finished his active duty service at the United States Naval Academy where he served as an instructor, coach and recruiter. He also spent time in the Naval Reserves following active duty.
Ravener graduated from the United States Naval Academy, where he earned distinction as a leader, intercollegiate varsity baseball player and is past president of his class. He also earned an MBA from New York University.
As it does each year, the ceremony will also include comments from Anderson, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and Franklin Mayor Ken Moore. In addition, the service will feature the color guard, placing of the wreath, and the readings of names of the new pavers. The event will close with a benediction, a 21-gun salute and retiring the colors.
“We wanted to have the full program we usually have,” Anderson said.
The ceremony will be broadcast at 10 a.m. Monday and will be aired on Comcast Channel 3, Charter Channel 192, AT&T Channel 99, and United Communications Channel 207. The public may also access the ceremony on WC-TV's YouTube channel and on its website.
Franklin Transit takes a holiday
In observance of Memorial Day, the Franklin Transit Authority has announced that Franklin Transit Fixed Routes Service and TODD (Transit On DemanD service) will not run. All regularly scheduled routes will resume Tuesday morning.
For more information on routes, visit the website at www.franklintransit.org or call Franklin Transit Authority at 615-628-0260.