April 12 F.D. Roosevelt Commemorative Ceremony
Amputee Ironman and Four-Star General to speak
WARM SPRINGS, GA. March 19, 2012 -- You may not know his name, but you’ve likely seen him run. Triathlete and motivational speaker Scott Rigsby is easily recognized by his state-of-the art prosthetic legs which helped him become the first double-amputee to complete the Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. Rigsby will be joined by retired Army Four-Star General Larry Ellis and wounded-veteran athletes for the annual FDR Commemorative Ceremony at Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site this spring.
Every April 12, historians, veterans, soldiers and citizens gather in Warm Springs, Ga. to reflect on the anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in the small town. He was in his den, posing for a portrait, when he suffered a stroke and subsequently died. Images of his Georgia funeral procession remain in many Americans’ minds, especially the photo of Graham Jackson playing the accordion while a single tear ran down his cheek.
This April, the FDR Commemorative Ceremony coincides with the Roosevelt Games, part of the Paralympic/Veteran Administration adapted games. Athletes will attend the 11 a.m. ceremony on the lawn, and Ellis and Rigsby will both be keynote speakers. The program also includes Color Guard and music by the U.S. Army Infantry Center Band. Afterward, visitors are invited to tour FDR’s modest home, as well as a museum with the unfinished portrait, his hand-controlled roadster, Fireside Chats playing on a radio and other memorabilia. Admission is free until noon on April 12.
Roosevelt’s Little White House is Georgia’s most-visited state historic site. It was where the four-time president sought solace from the pressures of leading the U.S. through the Great Depression and World War II. He first came to rural Georgia to swim in the naturally warm springs that were thought to bring relief from polio. Today, those historic swimming pools are part of the state historic site. To learn more, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/LittleWhiteHouse or call 706-655-5870.
The Roosevelt Games are a consolidated effort of the Little White House, Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation and Blaze Sports America, an organization dedicated to providing sporting opportunities to people with physical challenges. Some of the competing athletes will go on to attend Wounded Warrior Games or the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.
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