U.S. Rep Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, speaks in May 2019 at the Memorial Day service held at Tyler Memorial Cemetery.

In an effort to honor veterans and adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, Tyler Memorial Funeral Home Cemetery and Mausoleum’s traditional in-person Memorial Day service will be moving online.

The service will be broadcast live on Facebook at 11 a.m. Monday with guest speakers Lt. Col. Allen West and Skip Ogle.

The Facebook page can be found at facebook.com/TylerMemorialFH. The live video of the service will remain on the funeral home’s Facebook page.

Tyler Memorial Funeral Home has hosted a Memorial Day service for over 25 years, General Manager Billy Robison said.

“Hopefully, next year we’ll be able to resume back to normal. It’s very different and it’s not the norm we’re used to,” he said. “We’re trying to honor our veterans by adapting and not having to cancel completely.”

He added they’re trying to be on the safe side while continuing to pay respect to deceased, reserve and active duty veterans. The ceremony will be abbreviated due to COVID-19 and limitations for social distancing.

In the past, there were two guest speakers, music and an honor guard. Taps would also be played and bagpipe musicians would play “Amazing Grace.”

West is the third of four generations of military service members.

Throughout his 22-year U.S. Army career, West served in combat zones and earned honors like a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.

West was elected to the U.S. Congress representing Florida’s 22nd district. As a congressman, he served on the Small Business and Armed Services Committees.

He is also the former executive director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas and former director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative for the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Ogle is president of the Ogle Construction in Tyler. He also serves as chairman of the Texas Faith and Freedom Coalition and immediate past chair of the Tyler Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Stephanie, are proud to call Tyler home.

“I am humbled to be a part of the upcoming annual Memorial Day event at Tyler Memorial,” Ogle said. “As we take time to honor those that have sacrificed for our freedom, we are challenged in this season to rally from an opponent with no physical face that has impacted our nation. It is a time to reflect, to honor but also a time to rally Americans to stand shoulder to shoulder to again rise above the opponent of today.”

Ogle is the secretary pro-tem of the Angelina and Neches River Authority. He serves on the board of directors for both UT Health Science Center at Tyler and Tyler Economic Development Corporation. He is a member of the Tyler Area Builders Association.


Multimedia Journalist

I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.