VIRTS

Memorial Day ceremony set for May 29

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VIRTS

VIRTS

By KAROLYN GEPHART

The Memorial Day Ceremony for Friendswood will take place Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial which is adjacent to Friendswood City Hall. The address is 910 S. Friendswood Drive.

All local veterans are invited to attend and will join together for a group photo at the close of the ceremonies.

Events will feature patriotic songs and music, a tribute to the flags, and special guest speaker Colonel Terry Virts, Colonel in the US Air Force and retired NASA astronaut.

Virts grew up in Maryland and graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1989 with a BS in mathematics with a French minor. He had a successful military career and attended Test Pilot School in 1997 at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Following graduation, he was an Experimental Test Pilot at the F-16 Combined Test Force. He has logged over 3,000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft.

His military decorations include the NASA Space Flight Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.

He was chosen as a pilot by NASA in 2000. He was part of the Endeavor expedition to launch to the International Space Station with the final permanent modules. During the 13 day, 18 hour mission, Endeavor traveled more than 5.7 million miles and completed 217 orbits of Earth. He later completed three spacewalks logging in more than 213 days in space on two flights.

Virts retired from NASA in 2016.

For additional information about the Memorial Day ceremony, contact the City of Friendswood Parks and Recreation Department at 281-996-3220.