The Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority will host a two-in-one Memorial Day Program and COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Veterans Memorial Park later this month.

The combined event will allow veterans, their spouses and caregivers to mourn and remember those who have died serving in the United States military and to be vaccinated by officials from the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

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Duane Lamb, the Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park Association, announced in a Thursday press release that the event will take place at 9 a.m. on May 31st at the park on McFarland Boulevard in front of University Mall.

“We are honored to have Brigadier General Jerry C. McAbee retired from the United States Marine Corps as the keynote speaker. He is a native of Rainsville, Alabama and author of “Stubborn Men and Parched Corn: The Eighteenth Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment,” a book including recollections of his own great-grandfather of the Civil War regiment from Georgia," Lamb said. "Some of Brig. Gen. McAbee’s decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with three Gold Stars, and Bronze Star Medal.”

At the conclusion of the memorial service, members of the VMPA will lay a wreath in honor of all those who have died in military service at the Military Order of the Purple Heart Monument.

Attendees can also use the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine -- a PARA spokesperson said VA officials will attend the ceremony with their Dual-Use Vehicle and administer COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans, their spouses and caregivers who wish to receive one.

In the event of severe weather, the ceremony will be canceled.

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