This Friday and Saturday, a long-awaited event takes place in Garner, and you won’t want to miss it: the dedication of the Garner Veterans’ Memorial.
The public is invited to attend two dedication events, the first on Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. That’s when the Rand’s Mill Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution and Town of Garner will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial.
The second event is set for Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m., at the Garner Veterans’ Memorial site at Lake Benson Park, located at 921 Buffaloe Road in Garner.
“The dedication is something we’ve looked forward to for a long time. It promises to be another very memorable day in Garner,” said Mayor Ronnie Williams, who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
“As a veteran myself, I am extremely moved by the way the Garner community has rallied around this project and supported it with so many generous contributions. This memorial is a fitting tribute to the men and women who have put themselves in harm’s way to defend our country and its freedom.”
Keynote speaker for the Saturday dedication will be retired brigadier general and current N.C. Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata. Numerous local veterans and active-duty military personnel will also participate in the event, including Wake County Commissioner Phil Matthews, who is a Vietnam veteran.
The Garner Magnet High School Symphonic Band will perform a mini-concert at the beginning of the dedication and will play the national anthem. The Hall Sisters and former Miss North Carolina Dana Stephenson will sing.
The Garner Veterans Memorial Committee was established in 2006 to plan a structure to honor Garner-area veterans. The $500,000 project was made possible by donations from citizens, civic groups, churches and government agencies including the Town of Garner and Wake County.
About $125,000, or a quarter of the funds for the project, were raised by the sale of memorial bricks and benches honoring veterans living or deceased, from anywhere in the U.S.
The memorial features stone tablets with names of the 67 Garner-area veterans who have died serving their country, and historical narrative about the wars and conflicts in which the America has been involved. Decades of peace are represented by horizontal stone slabs.
The reverse sides of the tablets are earthcast sculptures created by internationally renowned Raleigh artist Thomas Sayre, whose work includes the “shimmer wall” on the side of the Raleigh Convention Center.
Clearscapes of Raleigh won a statewide contest to design the memorial. The primary Clearscapes designer for the project is Mon Peng Yueh, a Garner resident.
To learn more about the people honored by the memorial, and its unique design, see our story in the May issue of Cary Magazine. Pickup locations are listed at carymagazine.com/Find-Us-Locations.
Also this weekend, the final show of the Broadway Voices season hits the stage on Saturday night at 7:30.
An Evening with the Phantom and Christine stars real-life couple and Broadway stars Ron Bohmer and Sandra Joseph. The duo will perform songs from Phantom and other shows during the concert, at the Garner Performing Arts Center.
Bohmer’s resume includes starring roles in Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard and many others.
And Joseph holds the record for the most appearances as Christine, the object of the Phantom’s obsession.
For more information about the show or to purchase tickets, visit garnerperformingartscenter.com.
Add this concert to your calendar now: On Thursday, May 9 at 6 p.m., Garner’s downtown Music on Main concert series kicks off its 2013 season with Amanda Daughtry.
Daughtry grew up in the Garner area and now calls Nashville home. She’ll perform an array of current and classic country music, classic rock and mainstream pop, along with songs of her own.
The free concert will be held on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center.
Along with the outdoor concert will be Market on Main, featuring local artists, products and businesses in a pop-up setting in Downtown Garner.
For more information and a series schedule, visit downtowngarner.com.