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This special Veterans Day celebration will recognize military personnel currently in active duty in our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves, as well as veterans of the armed services for their exceptional commitment and dedication.
The public is encouraged to attend this free event, presented by Canton Township. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the public to enjoy exhibited military memorabilia displays and a cookie and punch pre-show reception, prior to the start of the formal stage presentation at 7 p.m.
This year's keynote speaker is Mr. Alexander Jefferson, Lt. Col (Ret.) of the Tuskegee Airmen, Detroit Chapter. Jefferson served as a P-51 fighter pilot with the Red Tail, 332nd Fighter Group, 301st Fighter Squadron in Ramitelli, Italy. In the course of providing protection from enemy aircraft, he flew 18 long range escort missions for B-17 and B-24 bombers. On Aug 12, 1944, three days prior to the invasion of Southern France, he was shot down by ground fire while strafing radar stations on the coast. Captured by German troops and interned for nine months as a Prisoner of War, he spent five months in Stalag Luft III, 80 miles east of Berlin on the Odor River. Jefferson was liberated by American forces on 29th of April 1945 and was discharged from active duty in 1947. He eventually retired from the reserves in 1969 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Following the war, he became an elementary school science teacher in the city of Detroit. He retired as an assistant principal in 1979. Jefferson is one of the founders of the Detroit Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and is a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Speakers Bureau.
The program will feature musical tributes sung by the Workman Elementary Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Keri L. Mueller.
In addition to the formal presentation, items for service men and women will be collected by the Michigan Military Moms, including individual size or travel size: beef jerky/slim jims; Q-tips; disposable razors; dark socks; foot and body powder; hand and foot warmers; hot chocolate; Michigan sports team Memorabilia; puzzle books such as crossword puzzles and Sodouku books; and decks of cards/Uno.
Join us as we salute all veterans, living and deceased, and especially those active duty military men and women who are currently serving in harm's way in far-away places and across our homeland. For more information on the Salute to Service ceremony scheduled on Tuesday, November 11 at The Village Theater, please call 734/394-5300 or visit www.cantonvillagetheater.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Jon LaFever, Recreation Supervisor – 734/394-5482 and Jennifer Tobin, Canton Arts Coordinator – 734/394-5484