Memorial Day Ceremony

2019 Memorial Day Ceremony

2019 Keynote Speaker

This year's Keynote Speaker is Colonel Tracy Roou, US Army Retired. Roou retired from the U.S. Army in 2016 after 26 years of active duty service.

Roou's army career included postings as a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer in Kosovo, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. Her most exciting and rewarding missions were in Kosovo as the liaison to the Russian Airborne Brigade in 2000 and as the U.S Defense Attaché in Uzbekistan from 2010-2013. In the early 1990s her career began as an Air Defense Artillery Officer in Germany, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Texas. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point (1990), Roou holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts degree in Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. She is fluent in Russian. Roou is a National Security Fellow and holds an Ignite Business Certificate, both from Stanford University.

The Roou family moved to the City of Falls Church in 2014 to settle in after dozens of moves around the world with the military. Tracy and John Roou’s older son, Finn, graduated from George Mason High School in 2018 and attends Hampden-Sydney College. The younger, Walter, is a current George Mason High School student.

Memorial Ceremony Program

Master of Ceremonies: Harry Shovlin

Posting of Colors: Honor Guard from the American Legion Post 130

Remembrance for POW/MIAs: Commander Bob Smith, VFW Post 9274 and Chairman of the Falls Church Veterans Council

National Anthem: City of Falls Church Concert Band and Ret. Sgt. Major Robert Petillo, US Army Band under the direction of Robert Little

Invocation: Pastor Greg Loewer, Columbia Baptist Church

Welcoming: David Tarter, Mayor, City of Falls Church

Remarks: Bob Smith, Chairman, Greater Falls Church Veterans Council

Keynote Address: Colonel Tracy Roou, US Army Retired

Presentation of Wreath in Memory of Departed Veterans: Lisa Inskeep, Falls Church Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Escorted by Richard L. Anton, Post 130

Presentations & Announcements: Harry Shovlin

Prayer for the Departed Veterans: Pastor Greg Loewer, Columbia Baptist Church

Taps: Master Gunnery Sgt. John Abbracciamento, U.S. Marine Corps Band

Retiring of Colors: Honor Guard from the American Legion Post 130

God Bless America: City of Falls Church Concert Band and Sgt. Major Robert Petillo, US Army Band under the direction of Robert Little


veterans ceremony crowd 2018

2018 Memorial Day Ceremony 

2018 Keynote Speaker

This year's Keynote Speaker is Retired Army Colonel Ward Nickisch. Col. Nickisch served in the Army for 30 years, including duty in Vietnam. He later commanded two companies in Germany and a battalion in the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, NC and went on to serve as the Deputy Adjutant General of the Army and Director of Casualty and Memorial Affairs. In that position he was responsible for the search, recovery, identification, and repatriation of the soldiers (of all Military Services) whose bodies were recovered from all prior wars. 

Col. Nickisch remains active in Veterans affairs at the local, state, and national levels. He and his wife reside in Gainesville, VA.