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Vet to speak about ‘patriotism, sacrifice’ at Memorial Day observance
Memorial Day Observance
U.S. Army veteran David Kaiser, front, and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Felix DeLoach salute during the playing of the National Anthem at the 2019 Memorial Day Observance inside the Averitt Center for the Arts. The 2022 Memorial Day program is set for Monday in the Emma Kelly Theater. (SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File)

After two years of holding outdoor events due to COVID-19 concerns, the American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 will bring the 2022 Memorial Day Observation back inside and invites the public to join together in honoring the community’s local heroes. 

Marine First Lieutenant Cody Wooley will be the keynote speaker Monday during the Memorial Day program at the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro. 

The program, which begins with a musical performance at 10:30 a.m., will be the first time the event has been held inside the Emma Kelley Theater since 2019. The 2020 and 2021 Memorial Day programs were held outside and were attended by mostly members of the American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 attending. The public is invited to Monday’s observance and there is no admission charge. 

Wooley told the Statesboro Herald Tuesday he “isn’t yet sure” what all his message will entail, but that it will center around the "history of Memorial Day, the patriotism and the sacrifice” of those who have died in military service. 

Wooley is presently with the Marine Recruiting Station Columbia, 6th Marine Corps Recruiting District in Columbia, SC.  

According to American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 past Post Commander Lonnie D. Ellis, Wooley earned his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Cameron University in Lawton, OK in 2015. Wooley then decided to enlist in the Marine Corps soon thereafter in 2016 when he went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Upon completion he proceeded directly to Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton, CA. He then spent the next 10 months at Communications Electronics School in Twenty-Nine Palms, CA, before checking into his first unit, Combat Logistics Battalion 453 in Wichita, Kansas. 

After he was assigned to Marine Air Support Squadron 3 at Camp Pendleton, he was appointed as the executive officer of Recruiting Station Columbia, where he is currently serving. 

During the introductory music, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office will post the colors. Ellis will welcome guests and Post 90 Chaplain Barbara Thames will offer the opening prayer. 

Post Senior Vice-Commander Charles “Skip” Campbell will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Averitt Center Director Rahn Hutcheson will welcome guests before the National Anthem. 

Readings of General John A Logan’s General Order 11 (Memorial Day Order) and “In Flanders Field” will be followed by observation of the entombing of fallen veterans of Bulloch County, including those who lost lives in World War I and II, (Atlantic and Pacific Theater); the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Iraq/Afghanistan War. 

Wooley will then offer his keynote address. 

The Memorial Day Observance is hosted by the American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 and Averitt Center for the Arts. It is supported and sponsored by various local businesses and individuals. 

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