05/21/06 — Pikeville to dedicate freedom memorial

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Pikeville to dedicate freedom memorial

By Turner Walston
Published in News on May 21, 2006 2:03 AM

Pikeville will dedicate the Price of Freedom Memorial on Saturday, the town's God & Country Day. Patriotic ceremonies and gospel music are scheduled for the event at Pikeville Park.

The park will be decorated with about 2,500 crosses constructed by clients at Wayne Opportunity Center. Each cross represents an American service member killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. Larger crosses will remember lives lost in American conflicts since the American Revolution.

During the ceremony, 5,000 balloons will be released in honor of prisoners of war and American service members gone missing in action. Presentations will be made to the Tuskegee Airmen and to the U.S. War Dogs Association. Additionally, a wreath will be laid at the traveling Fallen Soldiers Memorial.

Lt. Col. David Brown (ret.), author of "Battle Lines," a history of his unit in Vietnam, will speak along with Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr.

The 2nd Marine Division Band of Camp Lejeune will perform from 11 a.m. to noon, when the dedication ceremony will begin.

After the ceremony will be gospel music from 2 to 9 p.m. Sanctified, Brush Harbor, Servants' Heart and Doug and Celena Smith will perform, with Michael Combs taking the stage at 6:30.

Volunteers are needed to help fill balloons and set out crosses Friday night and Saturday morning. To volunteer, call organizer Dennis Lewis at 242-9620.

"Hopefully it'll be the biggest thing to ever hit Pikeville," Lewis said.