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Topic: Eternal Flame

The 2011 Chevrolet Fireball Run Adventurally visited Clarksville Tennessee


2011 Fireball Run AdventurallyClarksville, TN – The 2011 Chevrolet Fireball Run Adventurally Southern Excursion made their scheduled stop in Clarksville, Tennessee, Thursday afternoon, and left out early on Friday morning on the final leg of their 2500 mile journey. The 2011 Chevrolet Fireball Run Adventurally began on September 24th on Florida’s Space Coast and concludes today in the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The 2011 locations included Melbourne and Jacksonville FL, Savannah, Atlanta and Peachtree City GA, Charleston, SC, Knoxville, Crossville and Clarksville TN, Scottsville, KY, Anniston AL, and Gulfport MS.

Participants this year included NASCAR legend Geoff Bodine, NASA Shuttle Astronaut Winston Scott, Actor/Activist Kevyn Major Howard along with 40 other teams driving everything from Bentley’s and Camaro’s. Of special note was the 9/11 Pentagon Car which commemorates the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, it is inscribed with the names of the people who died on Flight 77; and the Officer Down car which honors the officers who swore to protect and serve, and did so even at the cost of their lives. Also participating was the DeLorean “Time Car” from Back to the Future, Transformers Bumblebee, and one of the police cars used in the Andy Griffith TV series.

City Council Woman Kaye Jones fires the starting pistol as Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan waves the flag kicking off the next leg of the 2011 Chevrolet Fireball Run Adventurally

City Council Woman Kaye Jones fires the starting pistol as Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan waves the flag kicking off the next leg of the 2011 Chevrolet Fireball Run Adventurally

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Clarksville recognizes close ties with Military during Warrior Week Ceremony at Eternal Flame


Clarksville TN Top Spot LogoClarksville, TN – As part of the annual Warrior Week celebration (June 16th-24th), the Clarksville-Area Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee held a ceremony at the Eternal Flame monument on Public Square honoring veterans past and present for their service and the sacrifices they make for our nation.

Warrior Week is a week-long celebration that honors military men and women, and their families. It gives local residents and businesses a chance to show appreciation for their service and sacrifice.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and Brig. Gen. Jeffery N. Colt, Deputy Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division place a wreath at the Eternal Flame as part of the Warrior Week observances.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and Brig. Gen. Jeffery N. Colt, Deputy Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division place a wreath at the Eternal Flame as part of the Warrior Week observances.

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Thursday evening Rivers and Spires kickoff promises incredible weekend


r&s logo

Laying the wreath

Laying of the wreath

Rivers and Spires kicked off today with a wreath laying and symbolic re-lighting of the eternal flame. The flame honors our soldiers serving over seas and lights the path for them to return home. This annual remembrance kicks off three days of food, fun, entertainment, and shopping in historic downtown Clarksville, TN.

The award winning festival is organized by the City of Clarksville, Montgomery County Tennessee, and the Clarksville-Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and is co-sponsored by many area businesses. «Read the rest of this article»


Out again! Eternal flame extinguished on apathetic election day


The darkened flame mirrors both voter ambivalence and the loss of a sense of honor.

The flame is out -- again!

Light’s out. Again.

Just when we thought the Eternal Flame was finally going to remain lit, its blaze was doused again — on election day.

Apart from being completely irritated and totally digusted with a city that can’t seem to get its collective act together long enough to keep one itty-bitty little thing ablaze (such as a monument that honors all American soldiers), there is another irony, one that I, as an American citizen, find disgusting.

The city seems to have no problem lighting the flame for commercial events. The flame blazed when the new downtown fountain was lit. It blazed during the last three Riverfests and Rivers and Spires festivals. It blazed when nothing was going on downtown but city government as usual. Because we (Clarksville Online) check every single day, we know when the flame is lit. And when it isn’t.

It was off on the fourth of July, even as the Vietnam Vets staged a striking ceremony honoring their fallen. It was re-lit after the 4th of July passed, and blazed right up until the eve of primary election day. It has been lit while the Legion Street-turned-Strawberry Alley construction is underway. Now the city managed to keep the new streetlights ablaze throughout the daytime hours this entire week. Water continues to flow through the lovely new fountain on Public Square. Only the flame, the best and brightest of our symbols, seems eratic. «Read the rest of this article»


Unlit flame on July 4th a symptom, could it be Clarksville just does not care?


Eternal Flame Memorial unlitThe Pillar of Cloud, Pillar of Fire  aka the Eternal Flame was conspicuously AWOL on July 4th! Our Eternal Flame seems to spend most of its time unlit. What does this signify about our dedication to “Supporting Our Troops!”

As the Independence Day weekend moves on, the smoke from fireworks has dissipated and the residue from our recent fireworks show have been cleared away. The traffic jams cleared up, and we each go on our merry way. Yes, the city’s celebration was quite a sight. And as noted in previous coverage here, the Pillar of Cloud, Pillar of Fire Eternal Flame Memorial was burning bright and strong at 11:30PM on July 3rd. The flags at City Hall were still sadly un-illuminated but the eternal flame did shine for that night. Hallelujah!!!

The Pillar of Clouds, Pillar of Fire MemorialAlas, it was too good to last. It was not burning during the daylight hours on our nation’s birthday, and when the evening of July 4th dawned upon us the flame was still NOWHERE TO BE SEEN. It was AWOL again! We took date stamped photographs to verify this.

Are our public officials really committed to keeping our pledge to light the flame, and in doing so honoring our fallen military personnel? Or is this just a “showpiece” there only to be utilized during special promotions and city events? «Read the rest of this article»


Memorial Day vigil honors Vietnam Vets

  • Vietnam Vets honor POW-MIAs
  • Rep. Joe Pitts addresses constituency
  • “Eternal” Flame unlit on Memorial Day

One by one, as a bell tolled a single chime and the words “Absent, not forgotten” were spoken by people in the viewing stands, Vietnam veterans carried thirty-three empty chairs draped in the black and white POW-MIA logo, carrying the names of Tennessee soldiers still missing from the Vietnam War, to “center stage” and saluted.

To the side, another veteran lit a candle for each name called. Gery Ezell read the roster of the missing. Reverend Elijah Oliver gave the benediction for this vigil.

Dozens of Vietnam veterans and their families gathered in Public Square Sunday evening to honor their fallen comrades, Tennessee’s 33 POWs and MIAs of the Vietnam War. The event was sponsored by Chapter 396 of the Vietnam Veteran’s of America, who launched this annual service in 1989 when the fate of forty-three Tennessee soldier serving in Vietnam did not return. In the intervening years, 10 soldiers have been returned, the most recent in 2005. «Read the rest of this article»


A simple thing proves to be beyond us!


Lighting a flame is just too much to ask. Even during Memorial Day Weekend, the flame is out. Yet “We support the troops!” claims and stickers are everywhere. Who’s foolin’ who?

Yet another national observance dedicated to honoring the nation’s debt to its military forces, past and present, is upon us. Flags are flapping in the wind. Boy Scout Troops are preparing to descend upon various cemeteries to place small flags at veterans graves. Politicians gear up to make patriotic oratory praising America’s military forces and the noble sacrifices made by them and their families, past and present. Even the president has reminded us to remember the veterans as we celebrate this weekend. All of these annual gestures of reverence are expected and applauded

But there is an affront to all this staged posturing in our community. For quite some time now, Clarksville has been playing footloose and cheap with its symbolic gesture to military honor and sacrifice- the eternal flame on Public Square. The flame has been unlit for most of this year. Citizen inquiries have resulted in a myriad of replies, to include being told that, “Surely, the wind must have just blown it out!”

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Memorial Day: Remember, honor the fallen


Though summer is a month away, Memorial Day has become the traditional launch date for the summer season, with all the accompanying hype about barbecues, picnics, the end of school for many, the start of vacation season for many others.

And while all of that is true, we need to take the time to remember and honor the reason we have this holiday: our veterans and our soldiers on active duty.

War has littered America’s historical landscape, beginning with the Revolutionary War that forged the democracy we live in. The Civil War bloodied our own soil in a way that World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam, did not, though those wars took an enormous toll on American soldiers and their families. There have been other battles along the way, inclduing the much more recent and controversial Gulf Wars I and II (a.k.a the Iraq war). «Read the rest of this article»


Military tribute launches Rivers & Spires


The Marine Corp honor guard presents the colorsRivers & Spires, an award-winning festival with live music, activities for the kids, and great food, returns to Clarksville for its fifth season. Rivers & Spires is staged on every street corner in historic downtown Clarksville and at Riverfront Park.

Rivers & Spires Festival orginated in 2003 as a tribute to the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division who, at the time, were returning from a deployment. Since then, it has continued to honor the community’s heritage by paying special tribute to Fort Campbell soldiers, many of whom are are currently deployed overseas, and their families.

The 2008 event opened with a re-igniting of the eternal flame on Public Square. Before the ceremony, I was reassured by City Councilor Geno Grubs that the flame, which has been off more than on over the past year, had been snuffed by a mechnical problem, and not by a city trying to save money or “the wind blowing out the flame.” «Read the rest of this article»


Unlit Eternal Flame dishonors all veterans


Once again the eternal flame is unlitSaturday was the fifth anniversary of the launch of the invasion of Iraq. Since the 2003 invasion America has suffered the grievous loss of some of it’s best, brightest, and most patriotic citizens. As I noted just a few days ago, the casualties of this war had reached 3987; 84 of those were from Tennessee, 4 from Clarksville.

As many of you know, I have in the past written articles strongly disagreeing with the Iraq war. I still oppose it and will continue to protest until it is finally ended, and the last American soldier has safely returned home. Now that we have made that clear, I must make something else clear.

 I have nothing but the highest respect for the dedication and the totality of the sacrifices that the soldiers serving our country make. As someone who has served in the military I understand that those who serve in our military are not granted the privilege of being able to cast a moral judgment about the legitimacy of the wars they are ordered to fight, and they share none of the blame so richly deserved by those who intentionally lied us into this conflict.

So on Saturday around dusk I went to Public Square in downtown Clarksville Tennessee in order to conduct what amounted to a one person vigil honoring those lives which have been lost in this unjust and immoral war in Iraq. I said my silent prayers for the souls of those no longer with us, and my continuing prayer for the safe return of those who are still in harms way.

After I was finished, I went for my camera. It is frequently said that a picture speaks a thousand words, so I will let the picture I took speak loud and clear, “Someone has a lot to answer for!” Fuel the flame; honor our soldiers.


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