Dublin Veterans Park has a special place in Dr. Chrisanne Gordon's heart.
It was the place where, in 2009, she attended Dublin's Memorial Day observance and where she said she thought seriously about becoming an advocate for U.S. veterans.
Gordon will return to Veterans Park this year as a speaker during the Memorial Day observance at noon May 29. She serves as medical director of rehabilitation services at Memorial Hospital in Marysville and founded the Resurrecting Lives Foundation to support veterans diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
Those diagnosed with TBI -- any brain injury that comes from an outside source, such as a blow to the head or a motor-vehicle accident -- have significant challenges with memory and thought processes, Gordon said.
They often aren't able to think quickly, and difficulty with extraneous noises and bright lights also are common, she said.
"Suicide is the end-all risk for somebody with a traumatic brain injury," Gordon said.
Gordon said she first became aware of the enormity of TBI when she began volunteering with the Columbus Vet Center in 2008 to honor the memory of a friend's son who died while serving in Iraq.
After filming a documentary about veterans with TBI, in July 2012 Gordon founded the non-profit Resurrecting Lives Foundation.
The foundation raises money to create awareness and help those diagnosed with TBI find employment, Gordon said.
Lt. Col. Jeff Noble, who serves as the organizer for Dublin's Memorial Day events, said he is excited to have Gordon, along with Lt. Gen. Dennis McCarthy, as speakers this year.
McCarthy, who served in the Vietnam War as a platoon leader and commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Reserve, will speak at 11:30 a.m. in the Dublin Cemetery.
Prior to his nomination by President Barack Obama as assistant secretary of defense, McCarthy served as executive director of the Reserve Officers Association.
Noble said the annual Memorial Day observance has grown considerably since he first started organizing it in the mid-2000s.
"We get a lot of support from the community," he said.
Held in partnership with the Wesley G. Davids Post 800 of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Dublin Post 10691, the city's Memorial Day observance begins at 11 a.m. with a procession in Historic Dublin.
The procession will step off from the Shoppes at River Ridge and move to Dublin Cemetery. It will stop atop the Bridge Street bridge over the Scioto River and a wreath will be cast upon the river's water to honor those lost at sea.
The procession then will move to Dublin Cemetery for a ceremony that will begin at 11:30 a.m. A commemoration in the Grounds of Remembrance in Dublin Veterans Park will be held at noon. At 12:45 p.m., a picnic lunch is planned on the grounds of the Dublin branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.