Organizers of the fifth annual Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration are planning to honor several Columbia County leaders during Memorial Day weekend in the county's most patriotic location.
The Evans High School color guard marched in the 2004 parade at Columbia County's Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration and will again carry the colors this year. The fifth annual celebration will honor four deceased World War II veterans.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"In the past, it has always been in that field behind the Kroger, and this year it is going to be on the lawn and steps of the courthouse," Stacie Adkins, the county's special events coordinator, said. "It's just a good setting. People can sit out on the lawn and watch. They can bring chairs. ... I think it's a good move."
The celebration is slated for 6:30 to 9 p.m. May 28 at the Columbia County Justice Center and Courthouse Annex on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans.
Adkins said several special guests and honorees will make the celebration even more special. One of the guest speakers will be Brig. Gen. Janet Hicks, who will be retiring as Fort Gordon commander July 1 to become head of Augusta Preparatory Day School's upper school. U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., who underwent a lung transplant in October, also has been invited to speak.
The event will pay special tribute to the families of four former Columbia County officials who recently passed away and served their country on the battlefield in World War II:
U.H. Pittman Jr., who died March 26, was a Navy veteran and served a term on the Board of Commissioners from 1976 to 1980.
James Morgan "Red" Fulcher died March 30. He earned a Purple Heart on the beaches of Normandy and later served terms on the county Board of Education and Harlem City Council.
John Charles Allen Sr., who passed away Jan. 6, served the Army in the India/Burma Theatre of the Medical Corps during World War II. He went on to volunteer as a county commissioner and a representative on the Board of Education. He retired as assistant superintendent and had served as interim superintendent.
Vince Robertson, an Air Force veteran, died Feb. 6 and served as a Columbia County school trustee for four years and two terms on the Board of Commissioners in the late 1970s and late 1980s.
"They were really big leaders," Adkins said. "I admire these people, I really do."
The event also will honor all things patriotic with an art contest open to child from kindergarten through high school.
And as at every festival, the American Legion will properly retire American flags, which can be dropped off at the legion office on Owens Road or at the event.
A patriotic parade of soldiers and Boy and Girl Scouts will kick off the event, which will include a sing-along of patriotic tunes and a performance by the U.S. Army Signal Corps Band. Lakeside High School's state champion rifle drill team also will participate.
The celebration will end with a bang, Adkins said, referring to the fireworks display that always closes the event.
"The fireworks for this one are all electronic," she said. "It's a very good show. (From the courthouse) you'll get a good view."
For more information about the event or the art contest, contact Adkins at 868-3458.
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