With the solidification of summer that came to us during our recent solstice, it is indeed the season to celebrate our soldiers and carouse for our country. It is, however, often all to easy to forget during those days and nights of merrymaking that there is an abstruse reason for such festivity.
Thankfully, though, there are folks who work quite diligently to remind us that there'd be no reason for the season if it weren't for our soldiers.
Adam Grech, co-chairman of the Military Tribute Concert Committee is one such person. The leader, along with his fellow committee members, have been working on a project to bring all glory, laud and honor to not just our country but those we have served it as well.
In conjunction with Navy Week, the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration Committee and the Military Tribute Concert Comittee are holding a series of concerts at Lake St. Clair Metropark as a kick off to three years' worth of celebrations and tributary memorials.
The three-day celebratory weekend will feature acts like .38 Special, Lorrie Morgan, Joe Diffie and Aaron Tippin as well as a double dose of fireworks.
While he's most proud to be honoring the vets and current military members at this event, Grech couldn't help but gush about the committee's choices for live entertainment.
".38 special is a great performance band to see live. They were a no-brainer. And Lorrie Morgan, what a tremendous voice she has," says Grech. "But, these acts were picked not just for their talent, but because they had quite honestly wide-spreading demographics. Many people enjoy them and they are great performers. I think it meets what the overall theme of the event is, which is fun, family, pride and American Fourth of July weekend. I think these acts coincide directly with that."
While the talent is the main attraction for this event, there will also be some veteran programs on site, some pretty impressive military vehicles as well as a tremendous amount of men and women who are currently serving in the military thanks to neighboring Selfridge Air National Guard Base
"This isn't going to be Harley Fest," says Grech, conceding that bikes will probably be a big part of the event. "But, the whole community is welcome. It's a really great event that's for the whole family."
But these Fourth of July weekend celebrations aren't the last you'll be hearing from the Bicentennial Committee.
"This isn't just a weekend thing," says Grech. "It's a three year thing. It actually ties in to Navy Week as well as the Bicentennial. The war of 1812 lasted three years, so the celebration is going to last three years too. The three-day event at the Metropark is just the kick-off, and then following that, there will be an event in September in downtown Detroit with naval ships and fireworks as well as some acts and talent."
In addition to honoring the military, the kick-off event will also actually be helping to aid not just those who've completed their service, but families of fallen soldiers as well. Since the proceeds from all three revelatory nights will be split between two charities, Rock Star Warriors and Operation Homefront.
"Rock Star Warriors assists unemployed vets in the state of Michigan. Right now, there are 280,000 unemployed veterans and what Rock Star Warriors is working on doing is setting up with work," says Grech. "Operation Homefront deals with wounded warriors and offer support for wounded warriors' families. They also support children and families of deceased warriors."
With the opportunity to thank a vet as well as help a vet and hear some great music while you're at it. We can think of one reason not to make this a can't-miss event this Fourth of July weekend. | RDW
Military Tribute Concerts • 7/6 – 7/8, $15 • Lake St. Clair Metropark • 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township • 586.463.4581 • ourgflagwasstillthere.org • $15