America Supports You: Opry Invites Public to Honor Veterans
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2006 The Grand Ole Opry is looking for the public’s help in honoring the nation’s veterans during its live Saturday night show this week, which happens to coincide with Veterans Day.
The Opry is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program highlighting ways Americans and the corporate sector support the nation’s military
“The Opry has great attendance and a great allegiance from veterans, so it’s the Opry giving back to those folks who certainly have given to the Opry, given to America,” Opry spokesman Dan Rogers said. “The Opry is the embodiment of America’s music, and obviously our U.S. veterans have paid the price to keep America here and free.”
To show its gratitude, the Opry is giving listeners and viewers a chance to tell why a veteran is special to them, Rogers said. Those dedications, which should include the veteran’s name and why the writer wants them to be recognized, will be read during the live show between songs and commercial breaks.
“We were going to do some things to honor the veterans and that was just one of the components that we came up with that involved veterans and the show,” Rogers said.
The show will open with a military color guard, and Mandy Barnett, a frequent Opry guest, will sing the national anthem.
Darryl Worley, who has a new single out called, “Just Came Back From A War,” will perform during the show. Perhaps best known for his smash hit “Have You Forgotten?” Worley has performed for the troops in Iraq as well as at the Pentagon, Rogers said. The host of the Opry’s TV program, John Conlee, has a personal reason to offer his gratitude this Veterans Day -- his son is an active duty servicemember.
“Throughout the night, different artists will (honor) veterans in words and song,” Rogers said. “Not every single artist, but different artists throughout the night will recognize the veterans in attendance at the show, those tuned in on the TV, radio and Internet.”
To submit a dedication to be read during the Nov. 11 show, e-mail a message that includes the writer’s name, city and state, as well as the veteran’s name to firstname.lastname@example.org.