More than 300 people gathered to enjoy this special patriotic evening saluting our nation and our military. Sponsored by Council 11028 and Assembly 3272 of the Knights of Columbus, the event took place in the Parish Life Center of Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church. Sir Knight Jim McMahon, emcee of the celebration, opened the event. He welcomed participants to an evening of patriotic music by the Pawleys Island Concert Band under the direction of Carson Turner, saying that everyone should “reflect on the blessings of freedom that we all share in the United States of America.”
The program opened with a presentation of the Colors by the Marine Corps League Detachment 873, followed by representatives of the Midway Fire Rescue Department and the Fourth Degree Honor Guard of the Knights of Columbus. Following this, guest vocalist Kyle Hughes, a choir teacher at South Brunswick Middle School and a music teacher at Brunswick North Carolina Community College in North Carolina, with the accompaniment of the Pawleys Island Concert Band, led the participants in singing the National Anthem. Allan Guazzo, Grand Knights of Council 11028, led participants in the Pledge of Allegiance. Deacon Stephen Olenchock of Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church gave the invocation following which the band played Taps and Jackson Barnes, who recently finished sixth grade at Waccamaw Intermediate School, ead excerpts from the Declaration of Independence.
During the band intermission, McMahon recognized more than 50 veterans in the audience who had served in WWII, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, current members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all service men and women who have served in other capacities and locations. Following the presentation, Hughes led the audience in singing “God Bless America.” Sir Knights from Assembly 3272 then carried out a flag-folding ceremony with McMahon describing the meaning of each of the 13 folds of the flag. During the ceremony, a flute/clarinet ensemble played a patriotic medley arranged by Carson Turner.
The evening program concluded with the band’s final selection, “Stars and Stripes Forever.”