Columbia County will honor its late congressional representative and other military veterans Saturday during the seventh annual Red, White and Blue Celebration.
During its first six years, the Memorial Day celebration featured a speech by Rep. Charlie Norwood. This year, the county commission will dedicate the front lawn of the Evans courthouse and a road along its eastern side in his memory.
Norwood, 65, died Feb. 13 at his Augusta home after suffering lung disease and cancer. A Vietnam War veteran and a retired dentist, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995 and served until his death.
The commission plans to dedicate a granite marker at the newly named Norwood Freedom Plaza, said Stacie Adkins, the county's community events manager. The road from Ronald Reagan Drive to the Columbia County Library was christened Norwood Drive shortly after the legislator's death.
The dedication will also include a proclamation in tribute to Norwood from Gov. Sonny Perdue's office, and U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss will be a featured guest.
The event will feature a parade of armed services personnel, a salute to veterans and a performance by the U.S. Army Signal Corps Band of Fort Gordon. As is tradition, fireworks will follow at dusk.
"Any military organization that's in the CSRA, we'd like to recognize them," Adkins said. They can contact her department at (706) 312-7191.
The celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the steps and lawn of the Columbia County Justice Center. U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Randy Strong, the commander of Fort Gordon, is the featured speaker.
Participants and spectators shouldn't come empty-handed. Columbia County Cares, the county's food pantry, will be accepting donations. Monetary donations are preferred, but the charity will gladly accept nonperishable food items.
Also, the members of American Legion Post 192 and local Boy Scouts will accept donations of old American and Georgia flags for proper retirement.
IF YOU GO
What: Seventh annual Red, White and Blue Celebration
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Columbia County Justice Center on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans
For more information: Call (706) 312-7191.
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