Musical tribute tonight kicks off Muster

A musical tribute tonight at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts in Newnan will kick off events for the 2013 Muster sponsored by the Coweta Commission on Veterans Affairs.

This year’s Muster has a special focus honoring and remembering veterans of the Korean War, called “The Forgotten War.” A schedule of events is also slated for Saturday at the Coweta County Fairgrounds.

Tonight’s free program at the Centre on Lower Fayetteville Road starts at 7 p.m.

“This is the fourth year for CCVA’s muster, which honors the veterans of Coweta County and educates the community about their legacy,” said Dean Jackson, public information officer for the Coweta County School System, which operates the Centre.

Tonight’s program will include “patriotic music and performances featuring 300 Coweta County School System students,” Jackson said. The Newnan High School drama department will present excerpts from the musical, “1776.”

A rifle demonstration by the East Coweta High School Marine Corps JROTC drill team will be performed. Presenting music will be the Newnan High School band and chorus, the Canongate Elementary School chorus, the Elm Street Elementary School chorus and the Smokey Road Middle School chorus.

In conclusion will be a “finale featuring all participating students,” Jackson said.

Saturday’s free event will begin at 10 a.m. with parachute demonstrations and a patriotic ceremony. There will be displays of military memorabilia, information booths and book signings. Huey and Cobra helicopter rides will be offered — for a fee. A Huey ride of 8 to 10 minutes will be available at the cost of $60 ($55 for veterans and $50 for active duty military). A 7 to 8 minute Cobra ride will be offered at a cost of $275 ($250 for veterans and military personnel).

A longer ride on the Cobra — 13 to 14 minutes — will also be offered at $475 ($450 for veterans and active duty military).

Malcolm Jackson, who serves on the CCVA and has been involved with the muster projects from their inception, said more than 50 Korean war veterans with Coweta ties have been identified. At the 2 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, the names of these veterans will be called and certificates will be presented.

Three Cowetans were killed in Korea. “We’ve got representatives from all of those families who will receive a plaque,” Malcolm Jackson said.

The closing ceremony will include remarks by local veteran Dick Stender, accompanied by a performance of “Amazing Grace” and “Taps” by Newnan bagpiper, Michael Scott.

An essay contest was held in conjunction with the Muster. “We had participation from all of the high schools,” Malcolm Jackson said.

For more on the Coweta Commission on Veterans Affairs and the upcoming events go to www.cowetacova.org .



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