The Ardmore Veterans Center will hold its 36th annual Memorial Day observance ceremony Monday.
The ceremony will include its traditional line up of events, with the Ardmore Youth and Community Band starting off the ceremony with patriotic music at 10:30 a.m. at 1015 S. Commerce, Carter County Veterans Council Chairman Rear Admiral Wes Hull said.
But the council is seeking to create two new traditions this year as well.
Hull said he has served as master of ceremonies for nearly 20 years and, for Hull, the ceremony is an important reminder to recognize those who have fallen.
“We never forget,” Hull said. “You can always remember when it comes this time of year those families that have lost loved ones sitting and having dinner on Memorial Day — there’s an empty space at the table because their loved one can’t be there.”
To further stress the importance of honoring fallen veterans, Ardmore Veterans Center Director Shawn Kirkland will take a moment during the ceremony to read the names of all the veterans who have departed during the past year, Hull said.

When the veteran’s name is read a bell will sound and this is expected to be a part of many Memorial Day ceremonies to come.
In addition, the rifle, bayonet, shoes and dog tags of the “missing soldier” will be brought out for individuals to view and honor those who have passed, Hull said.
Hull said this year’s ceremony will also include Sergeant First Class Garland Morgan as the guest speaker. Like several members of his family, Morgan was heavily involved in the military, from his 17th birthday when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, to July 1, 1979 when he retired after spending an additional 18 years in the army, Hull said.
“He supports veterans in every way possible, as well as all of the members of these organizations,” Hull said.
Hull said the council is expecting up to 300 people to attend the ceremony this year and is looking forward to the day of remembrance.
“I look forward to people coming out and recognizing this day and our military and what they have given us,” Hull said.