Gold Star Family Candlelight Vigil

During Memorial Day weekend, we honor Families of the Fallen, those who have lost a loved one in service to our country, with a Candlelight Vigil.  

Our guest speaker is Tara Harris, eldest daughter of First Sergeant Glenn Harris of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, who was killed in a training accident barely a year after returning home from the Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. Harris will share her path to healing by reaching out to the Rangers who knew her father best. Tara discovered the surprising power of redirecting grief into something larger than herself.

Also, listen as U.S. Army Veteran and country musician, Keni Thomas, shares a special tribute for Families of the Fallen.

There will be a dessert reception beginning at 7 p.m. The Vigil procession will step off at 8 p.m., and will begin on the Museum rooftop and travel down to the Soldiers Cross in Memorial Grove.

Tara Harris is an Interior Designer living in Atlanta, Georgia, but her life started out much different. She’s the eldest daughter of 1SGT Glenn Harris of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment who was killed in a training accident barely a year after returning home from the Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, October 1993. Going from being a Ranger family to immediately a civilian, Gold Star Family was a difficult transition. But years later she started reaching out to Rangers that knew her father, and an unexpected journey began. A journey of getting to know who her father was, realizing how healing it can be to reconnect and the power of being intentional & persistent. But most importantly and most surprising, being able to redirect buried grief into something good, and bigger than her, which in turn gave the loss of her father purpose. 

As a member the 3rd Ranger Battalion Sergeant Keni Thomas was deployed to Mogadishu Somalia as part of a special
operations group called Task Force Ranger. Their mission was to find and capture a criminal warlord named Mohammed Farrah Aideed. Outnumbered 10 to 1, the men of TFR distinguished themselves in an 18-hour fire fight that would later be recounted in the highly successful book and movie “Blackhawk Down.” 19 Americans died and 78 were wounded.

Keni got out of the Army to pursue a successful country music career. He is an Emmy winning producer, a best selling author and still regularly tours with the USO to perform for our military personnel serving overseas. As an entertainer, Keni has been recognized by Congress and the White House for his dedicated work on behalf of our veterans and military families. Keni now travels globally as a motivational speaker. His message of servant leadership and teamwork inspires and challenges us to become the kind of leader others want to follow.

Keni is very proud to be a national spokesperson for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation which provides college educations to the children of our special operations personnel killed in combat or training.

Keni Thomas is a graduate of the University of Florida, a recipient of the American Patriot Award and the Bronze Star for Valor.

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May 26, 2024


7:00 pm

More Info





WEDS-SUN 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
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