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Celebrate veterans on Memorial Day
cannon man 001
World War II veteran and Chatham Artillery member Stan White, 94, practices pulling the cord before firing a Packhow 75 millimeter cannon to signal retreat Wednesday at Fort Stewart. White served in the Signal Corps at Iwo Jima. He was initially assigned to the 1-18th Field Artillery Regiment that was mobilized in 1940. White was training to play professional baseball when he was drafted into the Army. The Savannah resident said he was worried the cannon “wouldn’t go off the first time,” so he had to “warm up with a few practice shots.” - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge
A number of area Memorial Day observances and military appreciation activities will be held throughout the three-day holiday weekend that began Friday.
Leaders and service members from Fort Stewart will participate in many of these celebrations.
A Memorial Day celebration at J. F. Gregory Park in Richmond Hill will begin at 11 a.m. today. Deputy Commanding General-Rear Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips will speak and the 3rd Infantry Division Color Guard will post the nation’s colors.
Walthourville will host its second annual Military Appreciation Day beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade will start at Walthourville City Hall and end at Johnny Frasier Park. Event-goers can enjoy food and entertainment following the parade. Call 368-7501 for more information.
History buffs can find Memorial Day programs at two area historic sites Saturday.
Fort Morris State Historic Site will have its annual Memorial Day Commemoration from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Friends of Fort Morris cannon crew will demonstrate cannon firings and musket drills. Families are encouraged to bring picnic lunches. Admission costs $4 for adults, $3.50 for seniors 62 and older and $2.75 for children ages 6-18. Fort Morris is in Sunbury, seven miles east of I-95, off Midway’s exit.
Fort McAllister State Historic Site will hold its program from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Activities will focus on the everyday lives of Confederate and Union soldiers and will include musket and cannon demonstrations. Admission costs $5 for adults and $3.50 for children. The park is near the end of Georgia Spur 144, east of Richmond Hill by the Ogeechee River. For more information, call 727-2339.
In Dublin, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Medical Department activity commander Col. Paul Cordts will speak at 2 p.m. Sunday at Carl Vinson Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Closer to home, a Bible Baptist Freedom Celebration/Military Appreciation Day will begin at 10:15 a.m. Sunday at 4700 Skidaway Road in Savannah. Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield installation chaplain Col. Warren Kirby and a 3rd Sustainment Brigade color guard will participate. Lunch will be provided for active duty military and their families. Call 352-3020 for more information.
A Savannah Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day celebration starts at 7 p.m. Sunday in Emmet Park in Savannah. Third ID Rear Detachment chaplain Lt. Col. William Ralston and a 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade firing party will attend.
Here in Hinesville, the annual American Legion Fred L. Ginter Post 168 Memorial Day celebration starts precisely at 11 a.m., Monday at the post home on Highway 84. Brig. Gen. Phillips will be the keynote speaker. Various local groups, including Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, Retired Officers and Warrant Officers Association and respective auxiliary units will attend. For more information, call 876-0168.
Those bound for the beach can stop in at Hilton Head for the Sun City Veterans Association Memorial Day celebration. It begins at 10 a.m. Monday in the town square at Sun City Hilton Head. The service will include a ceremony for those who have passed away since May of last year, a marching unit, the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade firing party, a flyover and a Wall of Fallen Heroes. For more information, call Jim Quirk at 843-705-3491
Later Monday afternoon, the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 3563 of Vidalia will hold an observance at 3 p.m. 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Rear Detachment commander Lt. Col. Daniel Gallagher and the division color guard will participate.
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