Memorial Day weekend activities planned

Memorial Day weekend activities planned

Memorial Day does mean a long weekend for a lot of people, but the meaning of the day goes a lot deeper. It is a time to reflect on the service that this nation’s men and women have provided in the Armed Forces. The people of Fayette County will have a number of opportunities to display their patriotism and honor those who have served this weekend.

Peachtree City is announcing a Call to Action for past and present military men and women. If you or one of your family members is currently serving in the military, is retired, or has served but is no longer living, Peachtree City wants to recognize them.

Simply go to the Peachtree City website, www.peachtree-city.org and click on PTC Honors its Troops. Fill out the individual’s name, rank and branch of service. You will then be given the choice of selecting Active Duty, Reserves, Has Served, Retired and In Memory.

Those names will then be scrolled on a screen May 29 at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater as The Army Ground Forces Band performs the Armed Forces Medley.

The free concert is part of the Memorial Day weekend activities. It is also the culmination of a day filled with events that will honor the homecoming of Lt. Daniel Berschinski. Other events include The All American Race sponsored by the Peachtree City Running Club and Regions Bank which begins at 8 a.m., a motorcade and motorcycle parade beginning in Fayetteville at 11:30 a.m.. a ceremony at Peachtree City plaza at City Hall at 1 p.m. and finally the Army Ground Forces Band concert scheduled at 7:30 p.m. at The Fred.

The Army Ground Forces Band will perform their concert “In the Company of HEROES” in celebration of Memorial Day. The program will feature an evening of patriotic music under the stars, and will conclude with a video tribute to honor veterans, those currently serving, and those who are no longer with us. The concert will cap off a day of events to celebrate the homecoming of Lt. Daniel Berschinski, a Peachtree City resident injured in the war in Afghanistan. The event is free to the public and tickets are not required.

The Army Ground Forces Band is considered “the musical ambassador of the American Combat Soldier to the American people.” A highlight of the evening’s concert will be the band’s performance of the Armed Forces Medley. Names are being accepted of those who have served in the military and will be scrolled on-stage during the medley as the music from their branch of service is played. You may still submit the name of a service member, past or present, on-line at www.peachtree-city.gov, then click on the link: PTC Honors its Troops.

The Army Ground Forces Band provides world-class music in support of the U.S. Army Forces Command, headquartered at Ft. McPherson in Atlanta, Ga. It serves as the musical ambassador of the American Combat Soldier to the American people, instilling pride in our troops and promoting a spirit of patriotism and support for our nation’s military through the performance of music at the local, regional and national levels.  For more information visit the website at www.armygroundforcesband.com.

Army First Lt. Dan Berschinski was seriously injured in Afghanistan in August 2009, losing both his legs to an improvised explosive device while his unit secured a village. Dan will be making his first visit home to Peachtree City on Saturday, May 29, and the community has several activities planned to welcome him back. For more information on the days events please contact Nancy Price at 678-364-6945.

To help celebrate the sacrifice of fallen veterans throughout our nation’s history, Fayetteville Main Street is offering a wonderful evening of patriotic music this Sunday, May 30 at the Villages Amphitheater in Fayetteville. The Army Ground Forces Band will be performing a full selection of songs that honor our country and recognize all who have served in the Armed Forces. Also present that evening will be the American Legion Post 105 of Fayetteville, and the City of Fayetteville Fire Dept. The program begins at 7 p.m., and the gates will open at 6 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy a beautiful evening with your neighbors and fellow patriots.

The history of the Army Ground Forces dates back to 1845, when they were known as the Fourth Infantry Regiment Band and served in combat in the Mexican War and other conflicts through World War II. In 1985, Secretary of the Army John O. Marsh Jr. conferred upon the unit the distinctive designation The Army Ground Forces Band.

Since that time, they have served as the Musical Ambassador of the American Combat Soldier, serving as an outreach asset for the United States Army Forces Command. The Band, conducted by Major Domingos Robinson, also serves as the primary ceremonial unit on Fort McPherson, supporting numerous military ceremonies and performing for visiting American and foreign dignitaries throughout the year.

This concert is the first of Main Street Fayetteville’s free events this year at the Villages Amphitheater.

This year’s Peachtree City Memorial Day will honor those who have died in service to the United States but will highlight the sacrifices made by families of those who give their lives or who are injured in battle.

This year’s event on Monday, May 31, will start at 9 a.m. with color guards leading a golf cart procession into City Hall/Library Plaza.  The golf cart procession, open to the public, steps off from The Gathering Place at 8:30 a.m. and winds around a scenic route skirting Lake Peachtree before being heralded into the plaza by marching music.

“It is vitally important to our existence as a nation that we never forget the many who have died throughout our history to protect the precious freedoms Americans are privileged with,” said Randy Gaddo, Director of Leisure Services and  the event’s planner.  “But for every man or woman who dies, there are many family members who must bear that loss forever.  It is equally important that they know others share their pain and that they are not alone in their grief.”

This message is especially poignant here as several local families have suffered death or serious injury to their service member over the past year or more.

The guest speaker this year, Pat Stansbury, will highlight the role of military families. Stansbury is the Executive Director of the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta and is the mother of a West Point graduate who has had multiple combat deployments. Stansbury will center her comments on what military families and loved ones can do while they wait for their servicemen and women return from combat.
 Stansbury wants to leave the audience with this point next Monday.

“Today, you are all in the service of the United States of America. You are on active duty, Waiting Duty; your patriotic mission is to uphold the attributes of patriotism. A patriotic America is a free America,” she said. “I want my son to come home to a better America than my brother did upon his return from Vietnam.”

The event will also feature a special presentation to a local military family, details to be announced.  The singing group Music Alive! will begin performing introductory music at City Hall/Library Plaza at 8:30 a.m.  At 9 a.m. after the golf cart procession arrives, honors to the flag will commence, followed by a memorial wreath presentation by the local veterans organizations.  The National Anthem will be sung accapella by local song writer and recording artist Lindee Link.  The student winner of a local VFW writing contest will read the winning essay.  There will be static displays of vintage military equipment, refreshments for spectators and more.

The event is held outdoors at the VFW Memorial in City Hall/Library Plaza unless weather turns inclement, when it is moved across the street to the First Presbyterian Church.

Memorial Day has been celebrated on the last Monday in May since 1971; prior to that it was observed each year on May 30.  This national holiday is set aside to remember Americans who, throughout this country’s history, have sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of defending and supporting the founding values and principles.

The origins of Memorial Day are subject to interpretation; however, it is generally believed that it had its roots in the American Civil War and it has evolved through the ages. 

The Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City, VFW Post 9949, local American Legion posts, the local Marine Corps League detachment and the City’s Recreation Department jointly support this event.  Call 770-631-2542 for more information.

American Legion Post 105’s Memorial Day Ceremony is planned to begin at 11 a.m. on Monday May 31 in the historical Fayetteville Cemetery which is located next to the Fayette County Board of Education at 210 Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville (going East on GA Highway 54). Recommend parking at the Fayette County Board of Education.

 The primary speaker will be highly decorated Korean War veteran Ben Malcom, COL, USA (Ret). COL Malcom is a renowned authority on the Korean War and insurgency warfare.

 The topic will be how our Memorial Day originated. Memorial Day is to honor all our veterans who have died in our nation’s service. With its origin linked to the end of our Civil War, it is not about division ... it is about reconciliation ... it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
 This year Fayetteville will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the start of the almost forgotten Korean War – how brutal and challenging it was in June 1950.  Some refer to this as the start of the “Cold War Combat Era.”  Col. Malcom will review of his service in Korea followed with the current National and World challenge in dealing with insurgency warfare. He will speak about his tour of duty as a young infantry lieutenant working behind the North Korean lines with the special operations of the United Nations Partisan Infantry Korea (UNPIK) clandestine bases, Vietnam and 9-11.

Memorial Day is always special in Senoia too, with crowds from around Coweta and Fayette counties pouring into the small city for an endless array of activities and excitement for the whole family. That will be the case again this year as the city holds its 5th Annual Memorial Day Celebration and Festival.

The daylong festival will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 5 p.m., with a host of entertainment opportunities, children’s activities, food, and plenty of shopping for antiques and arts and crafts.

One of the annual highlights will be the Memorial Day Parade that begins at 2 p.m., followed by a performance by the 116th Army Band.
And completing the day’s events will be the fireworks display at dark at Leroy Johnson Park on Howard Road.

For more information on the Memorial Day Celebration and Festival call 770-599-9155 or 770-599-8182 or visit www.senoia.com
 

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