Honor our fallen heroes.
The month of May in Indianapolis is a celebration of the world’s largest single-day sporting event – the Indianapolis 500. Beyond that, the 500 Festival also embraces a very important holiday in the midst of its festivities – Memorial Day and a weekend to remember the sacrifices made by Indiana men and women who perished while serving in the armed forces.
General Michael X. Garrett, Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces, will speak.
“Memorial Day remains one of America's most solemn observances. We pause as a Nation to remember the men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion in defense of our freedoms and our way of life,” said General Garrett. “On this sacred day, it is essential that we recognize our Gold Star Families who feel this sacrifice in a way that the rest of us will never know.”
General Michael X. Garrett assumed duties as the 23rd Commander of United States Army Forces Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in March 2019. As Commander of the United States Army’s largest organization, he commands 215,000 active duty Soldiers, and provides training and readiness oversight of U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. In total, the Forces Command team includes 745,000 Soldiers and 96,000 Civilians.
General Garrett has commanded at every level from Company through Army Service Component Command, and led units in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A career Infantryman, General Garrett received his commission in 1984 upon graduating from Xavier University. Following his initial military training courses, including Ranger, Pathfinder, and Jumpmaster, he served his formative years in the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 82nd Airborne Division, where he commanded 3rd Battalion 325th Infantry (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He also commanded 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division (Light), which he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Following Brigade Command, General Garrett served as the Deputy Commanding General of United States Army Recruiting Command, and subsequently, as Chief of Staff, XVIII Airborne Corps. In support of Operation New Dawn, he deployed to Iraq as the Deputy Chief of Staff for United States Forces-Iraq. Returning stateside, he served as Commanding General, United States Army Alaska, before assuming duty as Chief of Staff, United States Central Command. His most recent assignment was as Commanding General, United States Army Central (USARCENT) and Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC).
“We are honored to have General Garrett speak at the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “While we’re celebrating the Indy 500 this weekend in Indianapolis, it’s important to remember and honor the sacrifices of our military personnel around the world. General Garrett’s commitment to service is beyond admirable, and will be well received by the Gold Star Families and other attendees.”
Also in attendance will be the Adjutant General, Indiana, Major General Courtney P. Carr of the National Guard Bureau. Leader of the Army and Air National Guard, the Indiana Guard Reserve and State employees, General Carr directs those units in support of state and federal missions. Upon three decades of varied military service, abroad and in the United States, his climb in the ranks has commissioned him to oversee 15,800 personnel and their functions.
The Memorial Service will also include the Military Department of Indiana’s Joint Service Color Guard posting of the colors and performances by the Capital City Chorus and the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division Band. A wreath-laying ceremony and a horse-drawn caisson will be presented by the Indiana National Guard Headquarters Ceremonial Unit. The caisson carries the remains of the fallen service member, while the caparisoned horse trails behind.