Milton will hold its sixth annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 27, with retired Col. Michael D. Steele, a real-life company commander know from the 1999 book and 2001 film "Black Hawk Down" as the featured speaker.
Steele, a Georgia native, was the company commander in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment during Operation Gothic Serpent's First Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia.
Freedom isn’t free is the theme of the Memorial Day Ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. at Milton City Hall.
This year’s ceremony features local veterans, the City of Milton Fire Department Color Guard, performer Lewis Shaeffer singing the National Anthem, Taps as performed Bugles Across America and much more.
The ceremony will conclude with a roll call of local veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Their friends and families are then invited to reflect upon the markers created to remember their legacy and placed along Deerfield Parkway – and for the first time, in Crabapple – by Councilman Bill Lusk.
In October 1993, during a raid to capture two Somali war lords, two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down by local militia. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators, under the command of Steele, provided security at the crash site of one of the helicopters and fought off thousands of armed insurgents throughout the night.
After 15½ hours of fighting, armed vehicles arrived to take away the injured, and the Rangers provided security around the convoy, fighting their way to Pakistani Stadium.
Steele was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor Device for his actions as commander in the fight.