The 2D Marine Aircraft Wing Band has prepared a program filled with patriotic songs for the third annual Garner Veterans Memorial Salute to the Troops. The free concert will be held Sunday, May 22 at 6 p.m., at Aversboro Road Baptist Church in Garner.
The patriotic concert, which is sponsored by Show N Tell Ministries, comes the day after U.S. Armed Forces Day and before Memorial Day on May 30. There is no admission charge.
The 2D MAW band is among the nation’s elite military bands. The program is expected to include “Going Home” from the movie “Clear and Present Danger”; “Hymn to the Fallen,” from the soundtrack of “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Ashokan Farewell,” from the television miniseries “The Civil War.”
There also will be marches, a stirring rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and other works.
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The music will be accompanied by special recognition of present and past military personnel.
Each veteran who attends will receive a gift. World War II veterans also will receive a World War II Veterans Memorial coin.
But the entire community is expected to receive the gift of music from the band, which is made up of musicians who are Marines. Each musician completed the same boot camp as other Marines.
“Playing with the band is a life-time dream for me,” said Corp. Kristoffer Hudson, a Lorain, Ohio native whose father and grandfather were U.S. Marines.
“I wanted to be a Marine my entire life and I’ve loved music through elementary school, high school and college. I’ve been able to combine the two. This is what I’ve always wanted to do.”
The band is stationed at Cherry Point, but plays about 200 events per year. It has performed at a Carolina Panthers football game, the Cotton Bowl, the Kentucky Derby, the Indianapolis 500, the Football Hall of Fame, the Miss America Pageant Parade and several Mardi Gras Parades.
It has traveled internationally with performances in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Germany, Denmark, Scotland, England, Iceland, France and Haiti.
“The most thrilling place for me was probably Fenway Park in Boston earlier this spring,” Hudson said. “To walk out on that historical baseball field was something special.”
But Hudson likes the smaller venues, too.
“The best thing about being in the band is getting to meet people at the different places,” he said. “You actually get to do more of that at some of the smaller places.”
Following the concert at the church, there will be a brief wreath-laying ceremony at the Garner Veterans Memorial.
Show N Tell Ministries started the Salute to the Troops concerts in 2014, the year after the Veterans Memorial was dedicated on May 4, 2013. The monument at Garner’s Lake Benson Park honors the 66 community men who died while serving in the military. The memorial was the result of a grassroots effort that raised more than $500,000.
Steve Amerson, who is known as America’s tenor and for his performances at Medal of Honor events, and Broadway’s Laurie Gayle Stephenson, Christine from Phantom of the Opera, were featured in the first Salute to the Troops.
The U.S. Army 82nd Airborne All-America chorus performed last year along with a community choir and orchestra that totaled more than 100 performers.
The Town of Garner also will have a Memorial Day service on Monday, May 30 at the Garner Veterans Memorial at 1:30 p.m.
Tim Stevens: firstname.lastname@example.org
Garner Veterans Memorial Salute to the Troops
What: A patriotic concert by the 2D Marine Aircraft Wing band.
When: Sunday, May 22, 6 p.m.
Where: Aversboro Road Baptist Church, 1600 Aversboro Road, Garner, NC.
More: All U.S. military veterans will receive a gift and all World War II veterans will be recognized and presented with a World War II Memorial coin.
Wreath ceremony: The public is invited to a brief wreath-laying ceremony at the Garner Veterans Memorial at Lake Benson Park following the concert.
Presented by: Show N Tell Ministries.