During its special called meeting Wednesday night at the Hinesville Police Department, the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee hammered out a draft copy of a program schedule for their second annual Veterans Salute Day on Nov. 1 at Bryant Commons.
The organization, led by a member of the city council with members from veterans’ service organizations and the community, usually meets the fourth Monday each month, but starting this month, HMAC will meet twice a month to work out all the details for the Veterans Salute Day.
HMAC Chairman David Anderson presented a handwritten draft for a program schedule, on which members made changes or filled in information. Fixed information on the schedule include the opening ceremony at 11 a.m., which will begin with the national anthem performed by the 3rd Infantry Division Band. That will be followed by an invocation and the welcome by HMAC member George Holtzman.
Greetings and remarks will be given by special guests, including Mayor Jim Thomas, Liberty County Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette and 3rd ID and Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Commander Maj. Gen. Mike Murray. Other speakers were considered, but the consensus was that people would come to honor veterans, not hear speeches.
Entertainment Chairwoman Karen Bell said a DJ will provide music from 10 a.m. up to the opening ceremony. The entertainment, which she said includes six acts, singers or musical groups, will begin at 11:30 a.m. There also will be a bounce castle and kids’ games section, and Ronald McDonald is scheduled to take part in the event.
Details about a proposed silent auction and when to hold the 50/50 raffle drawing were delayed until the next meeting.
The end time for the event was tentatively agreed on for 6 p.m. There was some discussion, however, to end the entertainment at 5:30 p.m. and hold the raffle drawing at that time. That would give members time to start breaking down and cleaning up.
Other business discussed included another long discussion about a sign at the entrance to Bryant Commons that is large enough to read from Highway 84 at 45 mph.
“We are trying to get a larger sign for Bryant Commons, but because of the city’s sign ordinance and the fact that these things are not cheap, we may not have a permanent sign in time for the event,” Anderson said. “We need to come up with a temporary solution.”
Melinda Schneider suggested a proposal made by another member last month to park a military vehicle near the inside of the fence at Bryant Commons, near the highway. She said they could put a large banner on the side of the vehicle that showed the public the location of the park and advertised the event. Holtzman asked Anderson if he could get something on the city council’s agenda for its next meeting about asking the city to help promote Veterans Salute Day and show the public where Bryant Commons is located.
Other business discussed included getting someone to chair the logistics committee and help arrange for security, trash cans, port-a-potties and assistance from a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps or Youth Challenge. P.J. Schneider said he still has 850 of the 2,000 tickets bought for the raffle drawing. Anderson asked members to note the increase balance in the monthly financial statement showing the deposits for ticket sales.
“I would ask that, if you can, don’t turn in your ticket money in one or two at a time,” he said. “Please hold the money until you can turn in all of the money for your tickets at one time.”
Business noted for the good of the order included an invitation to the Vietnam Veterans of America’s annual POW/MIA ceremony to be held at Fort Stewart’s Marne Garden at 6 p.m. Sept. 19. Holtzman also mentioned a Community Listening Session for the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment that is being scheduled for Nov. 17 at city hall at a time yet to be determined.