Blue Star Salute to honor fallen soldiers

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – The American Village will teem with patriotism over the Memorial Day weekend as the Blue Star Salute Foundation holds its seventh annual Blue Star Salute on May 30.

Glenn Nivens, the secretary and agent of the Blue Star Salute Foundation, said holding the observance at the American Village is the ideal setting for remembering fallen soldiers and honoring military service members, both active and veterans, and their families.

” We’re excited about this. It’s the perfect thing to do in a venue such as the American Village,” Nivens said. “There’s so much excitement there, so many children are exposed to, this gives the parents of those children the opportunity to see the educational expertise of the American Village.”

Nivens said Air Force Major General (Ret.) Larry W. Northington will be the keynote speaker for the event, sharing his experiences on September 11, 2001.

“It’s a very, very meaningful event. Northington was in the Air Force Office of Strategic Studies on 9/11,” Nivens said. “We’re excited to have him talk about his experiences. I’m sure he’ll be able to get our attention with what he saw from his position of responsibility on that fateful day.”

The day of observance will hold special music from the Montevallo Community Chorale, encounters with historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Abigail Adams, a musket demonstration and a Gold Star Salute to fallen heroes.

“The Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives will lay a long-stem red rose on the boots of the memorial just in front of the altar in the church,” Nivens said. “It’s the most moving event of the day; it’s emotional. A good number of family members will be attending. We invite and encourage family members to come and memorialize their loved ones.”

On May 30, the third annual Alabama National Cemetery Ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the National Cemetery. The ceremony will include memorial wreath laying and rifle salute with Taps to honor fallen soldiers. The Blue Star Salute will begin at 11 a.m. with a musical prelude in the American Village’s Liberty Hall, and events continue throughout the day until the Gold Star Salute at 3:15 in the Colonial Chapel.