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LogBases commander featured in local Independence Day celebration

By Colie Young | | July 11, 2002

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The commander of Marine Corps Logistics Bases' participation in a local Independence Day celebration exemplified MCLB Albany's exceptional relationship with the local community.

Brig. Gen. Richard S. Kramlich's narrative of "Lincoln Portrait," words and memoirs of President Abraham Lincoln, was among the most memorable events at Albany's Heritage Day 2002 on July 4. The patriotic musical celebration was held at the city's James H. Gray Sr. Civic Center and telecast live by WALB-TV, the local NBC television affiliate. 

Hosted by the WALB-TV's Ben Roberts, Heritage Day 2002 featured local participants such Kramlich and Albany Mayor Tommy Coleman and professional musical groups such as the Liberty Voices from Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla., and the Heritage Day Band.

The MCLB Color Guard marched on the colors to kick off the day's events. Roberts welcomed the audience and introduced the Liberty Voices and the Heritage Day Band, whose performance patriotic selections included "God Bless the USA."

Spectators of all ages and walks of life attended the festivities. The highlight of the evening featured a sequence of musical and narrative renditions directed by Michael Keeley, minister of music at Albany's Porterfield United Methodist Church and sponsored by Heritage Bank of the South, Phoebe Community Visions, the City of Albany, WALB-TV and the Albany Area Arts Council.

Coleman and Jackie Ryan of Phoebe took the crowd back in time with their vocal performances of "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "This Land Is Your Land."

Members of Theatre Albany sang selections from "Always... Patsy Cline," and a soloist from Albany State University sang "Hero" as members of the Albany Police Department, Fire department and emergency medical personnel stood proudly before the audience, while being recognized for their civic contributors.

Mr. Keeley summarized the evening's program by stating, "Heritage Day 2002 was a terrific success. This was a great example of what can happen when the community, civic groups, corporate sponsors and the military come together for a great cause: patriotism. What more can you ask for at this or any time in our nation's history? We know that this is just the beginning of a great tradition for Albany!"

The Heritage Day musical celebration began in 1989. It became an independent citywide program in 1999. The 2002 event concluded with spiritual songs and hymns performed by Worship 288 of Providence Church and a fireworks display outside at dusk.





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