Memorial Day Parade


Aiken Jaycees Memorial Day Parade

A Grateful Aiken Country Thanks and Honors You
Saturday, May 23, 11 a.m.
Downtown Aiken

Join the Aiken Jaycees and several generous sponsors for a Memorial Day parade Saturday, May 23, 11 a.m.  Businesses; civic, community and youth organizations; schools; churches; political leaders, local bands, and veterans service organizations are encouraged to enter the parade.  It’s an easy, free, and patriotic way to honor all those who served and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

As part of the festivities, the Aiken Jaycees will recognize and honor all American veterans and their families and is partnering with the Department of Defense to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The theme of the parade is:  “A Grateful Aiken County Thanks and Honors You.” Don’t let your families and friends miss out on the fun!  Encourage them enter or to mark their calendars to be on the sidewalks of Laurens and Park Streets recognizing members of our Armed Services as they march by during the parade Saturday, May 23, 11 a.m.!

Parade Sponsors include:2015 Memorial Day Sponsors

We are proud to present the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Memorial Day Parade, Major General Trowell-Harris.

Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N. Ed.D., Maj Gen, USAF, Ret, November 2014

Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris is the former Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Women Veterans. She was nominated in June 2001 and approved by the White House on October 2, 2001 and served as director until September 2013. In this role, she was the primary advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on legislation, programs and issues related to women Veterans. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Trowell-Harris served as Director of VA’s Office of Inspector General’s Healthcare Inspections Regional Office in Washington DC. In this position, she directed a multidisciplinary staff of inspectors responsible for conducting oversight reviews to improve the economy, effectiveness, and efficiency of VA’s programs.

Concurrent with her position in VA’s Office of Inspector General, Dr. Trowell-Harris served 38 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard (ANG), retiring as a Major General in September 2001. During her military career, Dr. Trowell-Harris held numerous senior leadership positions, including chief nurse executive; flight nurse examiner; commander; advisor for nursing and readiness, Office of the AF Surgeon General, assistant to the director and Board of Directors, ANG; and military representative to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) for the ANG. She was a 1997 Air Force representative for the Committee on Women in the NATO Forces Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey and speaker for the Air Force in Pretoria, South Africa at an International Women’s Conference.

Dr. Trowell-Harris is an adjunct graduate faculty member at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and served as an ex-officio member to the DACOWITS and VA’s representative on the

White House Council on Women and Girls. She also served as a senior social and policy specialist for the American Nurses Association.

Born in Aiken, S.C., Dr. Trowell-Harris is a graduate of Columbia Hospital School of Nursing, Jersey City State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in health education. She earned a master’s degree in public health from Yale University and a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Trowell-Harris was the first female and nurse to command a medical clinic and first African-American female in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to general officer. She is also the first to have a mentoring award and a Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Chapter named in her honor. Dr. Trowell-Harris is the recipient of numerous awards, most notably the Air Force Distinguished Service and Legion of Merit awards; the Dr. James D. Weaver Society Award, named for the distinguished Pennsylvania Congressman and Air National Guard Flight Surgeon; the Eagle Award from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for her contributions to aviation; the Air Force Association’s National Aerospace Award for Department of Veterans Affairs Employee of the Year 2010, given for the most outstanding performance of duty as a VA employee and her consistent dedication to the well being of our Veterans, the VA Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community Award; and numerous Outstanding Performance awards. She is a Distinguished Alumna of Jersey City State University, Yale University and Columbia University, and was inducted into the Columbia University Nursing Hall of Fame and the Yale University School of Medicine Honor Roll for her dedication to public service. She was honored as one of the “21 Leaders of the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews in NYC and was selected October 2014 by the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation as a National Business Women’s Week award recipient for 2014 as a decorated military veteran and veterans advocate.

She is a Charter Member of the Women’s Memorial and in December 2013 established the Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris Endowed Leadership Fund at the American Nurses Foundation. The purpose of the Fund is to support leadership development of nurses – especially those with military experience and in non-traditional roles.

Thank you for recognizing our military veterans and their families.  We look forward to seeing you in the parade May 23!

For more information, call 803-761-7081 or e-mail