Red, White & Blue event honors vets in Evans

The U.S. Army Signal Corps Band wowed hundreds who gathered on blankets and chairs for the Red White & Blue Veterans Day Celebration on the lawn at Evans Towne Center Park on Saturday evening.

The event, put on annually since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, is sponsored by Columbia County. It has been moved to different holidays in the past few years, including Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

The 6 p.m. show by the Signal Corps Band included Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, Robbie Williams’ Angels and Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York. During the last song, fireworks could be seen over Lady Antebellum Pavilion.

The night brought out families from all over, including Debbie Winters, a retired soldier, and her husband, Mark, of Grovetown. Winters was seated in a chair where she could easily see her two children, Maggie, 5, and Mark Jr., 3, as they played in front of the stage along with dozens of other children.

“It’s nice that Columbia County does this for us,” she said. “Every time people come out to show support for the sacrifices people have made, (it) makes the sacrifices worth it.”

Since returning from Afghanistan a few years ago, Winters said, she and her husband have tried to attend every veterans event they can.

Denise Dewey, the chaplain of American Legion Post 192, which sold food and drinks in the park, said it was important to pay tribute to veterans and that the Veterans Day concert was a good way to do that.

“Everything (veterans) have to celebrate as people can be seen here,” she said. “We have families. We have children we want to see grow up and be proud of participating in these events.”

Ed Beckman, the commander of Post 192, said he was happy to see the hundreds of people gathered to watch the band perform.

“It’s good to see (the event) has gone back to its original meaning of honoring vets,” he said.

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