The Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority and others will host their annual Memorial Day ceremony next week, led by an officer who served in the Army Special Forces.

PARA will join the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and The University of Alabama Office of Veteran and Military Affairs to jointly host the ceremony next Monday at 9:00 a.m.

A spokesperson for PARA shared the plans in a Monday press release and said as in years past, the event will be held at the Veterans Memorial Park they maintain in front of the University Mall on McFarland Boulevard.

The event is free and open to the public.

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PARA said this year's keynote speaker is Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Kaye, a Green Beret whose decades of service earned him the Combat Infantry Badge, Master Wings, The Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, and the Bronze Star, among others.

Kaye also served locally as the president and CEO of the YMCA association of Tuscaloosa for two decades.

PARA's annual ceremony honors those servicemen and women who have died, and Kaye will commemorate their valor and sacrifice.

Early forecasts say Monday could be rainy and hot, and PARA said if inclement weather makes the event impossible outdoors, they will relocate to the sports atrium of the VA building on Loop Road.

To learn more about next week's program and how to support the park or honor a veteran by adding their name to its Honor Wall. visit

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