Garfield and news­pa­per tell ‘Sto­ries in Ser­vice’

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By JACK RODGERS and LEANN SCHENKE jrodgers@thekent­coun­tynews.com lschenke@thekent­coun­tynews.com

CH­ESTER­TOWN — In 1944, Wil­liam Wes­ley Jack­son of Cole­man stormed the beaches of Nor­mandy, serv­ing un­der Gen. Ge­orge Pat­ton.

“We landed on Nor­mandy Beach,” Jack­son said in an interview ear­lier this year for the “Sto­ries in Ser­vice” project. “Up over the hill, there were mine­fields. When you went in them, you had to make the same steps you did go­ing in and go­ing out. Some didn’t make it back.”

Jack­son, who passed away in Au­gust at the age of 92, is one of many vet­er­ans fea­tured in a “Sto­ries and Ser­vices” event be­ing held at 7 p.m. Fri­day at the Garfield Cen­ter for the Arts. The event is ded­i­cated to him.

“Sto­ries in Ser­vice” is just one of the var­i­ous cer­e­monies and events in Kent County this week honor­ing lo­cal ser­vice­men and women, past and present, for Vet­er­ans Day.

Part­ner­ing with the Kent County News, Tess Ho­gans, direc­tor of the Garfield Cen­ter, joined lo­cal re­porters and vol­un­teers in in­ter­view­ing and pho­tograph­ing nearly 80 lo­cal ser­vice­men and women for the ini­tial “Sto­ries in Ser­vice” project.

Pho­tos with short para­graphs from each con­ver­sa­tion ran in the Kent County News for sev­eral months ear­lier this year. The pho­tos also hung in the lobby of the Garfield Cen­ter dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of “Mis­ter Roberts,” a play set in World War II, last Fe­bru­ary.

The Kent County News started run­ning a vet­eran’s story and photo each week in Jan­uary, lead­ing up to the play’s open­ing. The plan was to run the fea­ture through the fi­nal cur­tain call for “Mis­ter Roberts.”

The com­mu­nity re­sponse was too great to fea­ture ev­ery story in print, even af­ter the weekly fea­ture was ex­tended an ad­di­tional month. From that, the idea of cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity event on Vet­er­ans Day was born.

Fri­day’s “Sto­ries in Ser­vice” event will fea­ture mu­sic, a video and a chance for vet­er­ans in at­ten­dance to tell their sto­ries.

“I had all this data, and I didn’t delete it be­cause some of these sto­ries are re­ally haunt­ing,” Ho­gans said.

“Some of these in­ter­views I talked to peo­ple for 25 min­utes; it was hard to pick a few. So then I thought, what if we made a video fea­tur­ing these in­ter­views?”

The event will fea­ture this video. It looks to cel­e­brate all lo­cal vet­er­ans who told their sto­ries. The short video also will in­clude then-and-now pic­tures of high­lighted ser­vice­men and women, backed by their own har­row­ing anec­dotes.

“The goal of this project was to record these sto­ries,” Ho­gans said.

“Sto­ries in Ser­vice will fea­ture the U.S. Marine “Corps Color Guard, Ch­ester River Youth Choir and Kent County High School Band, which will pro­vide a mu­si­cal sam­pling to the video.

“We’re call­ing this event a cel­e­bra­tion be­cause that’s what we want to do, we want to cel­e­brate these vet­er­ans,” Ho­gans said. “A lot of peo­ple who I in­ter­viewed were Viet­nam vet­er­ans, and one of the clas­sic things ev­ery­body says is, ‘Thank you for your ser­vice,’ well it wasn’t like that for these guys. They had to hide that they were ever in­volved in a con­flict.”

Kent County News Edi­tor Daniel Divilio said the suc­cess of the ini­tial “Sto­ries in Ser­vice” photo project is due in large part to Ch­eryl Saun­ders, a Big Woods res­i­dent who reached out to many vet­er­ans in the area, col­lect­ing their con­tact in­for­ma­tion for the Garfield Cen­ter and the news­pa­per.

“Ch­eryl gave us the names of so many com­mu­nity mem­bers who served. Her ef­forts took our project well beyond what we could have ex­pected. I offer her my spe­cial thanks for all her work,” Divilio said.

Ad­mis­sion is free for this event. More in­for­ma­tion can be found at www.garfield­cen­ter.org.

Also for Vet­er­ans Day, Wash­ing­ton Col­lege will sa­lute the troops with a mul­ti­me­dia, staged pro­duc­tion, “Re-En­try: A Per­for­mance Trib­ute to Vet­er­ans,” based on the sto­ries, let­ters, po­ems and art shared by lo­cal vet­er­ans.

The event be­gins at 7 p.m. Satur­day in Decker The­ater, Gib­son Cen­ter for the Arts. It is cospon­sored by the col­lege’s Starr Cen­ter for the Study of the Amer­i­can Ex­pe­ri­ence and the Depart­ment of The­atre & Dance. This event is free and open to the pub­lic.

Live dance per­for­mances based upon the sto­ries, let­ters and works of art shared by lo­cal vet­er­ans of the Korean War, Viet­nam War, Iraq War and World War II cap­ture per­sonal and pub­lic re­sponses to the com­bat ex­pe­ri­ence in this one-hour pro­gram, a news re­lease from the col­lege states. High­lights in­clude a po­etry read­ing by Iraq War vet­eran Char­ity Winters and a re- telling of the story of Leroy “Boots” Bat­tle, a Tuskegee Air­man.

“Re-En­try” wel­comes vis­it­ing dancers from two pro­fes­sional dance com­pa­nies — Ig­nite: A Com­pany of Danc­ing Artists and Pieces of a Dream Inc. — led by Wash­ing­ton Col­lege dance pro­gram direc­tor A.T. Mof­fett.

Prior to the per­for­mance, the col­lege will offer a spe­cial din­ner in Hod­son Din­ing Hall from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Din­ner is free for vet­er­ans and $12 for all oth­ers.

Galena will honor vet­er­ans with its an­nual cer­e­mony at 9:30 a.m. Fri­day in St. Den­nis’s ceme­tery. The cer­e­mony will honor Har­vey Camp, Galena’s long­est sur­viv­ing WWII vet­eran, who passed away this year. Mem­bers of the Frank M. Jar­man Amer­i­can Le­gion post and the Kent County Sher­iff’s Of­fice will present the col­ors.

The cer­e­mony will be fol­lowed by a re­cep­tion in St. Den­nis Church.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Heron Point will be con­duct­ing a flag rais­ing at 9 a.m. Fri­day com­mem­o­rat­ing Vet­er­ans Day. Wi­d­ows and fam­i­lies of vet­er­ans also will be hon­ored at that time.

Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony, there will be a cake cut­ting cer­e­mony cel­e­brat­ing the 242nd birth­day of the Marine Corps in the din­ner room at Heron Point.

The 16 vet­er­ans who are res­i­dents at Au­tumn Lake Health­care at Ch­ester­town will be saluted dur­ing a spe­cial cer­e­mony at 2 p.m. Fri­day at the Mor­genc Road fa­cil­ity. The cer­e­mony will in­clude the Dover Air Force Base color guard.

On Satur­day, Boy Scout Troop 130 will cel­e­brate its “90 con­tin­u­ous years of ser­vice” to the com­mu­nity with an Emer­ald Ju­bilee din­ner at the Bet­ter­ton fire­house.

At 1 p.m., there will be U.S. flag re­tire­ment cer­e­monies and a pa­tri­otic recog­ni­tion of Vet­er­ans Day. Mem­bers of the Frank M. Jar­man Amer­i­can Le­gion post will be in at­ten­dance.

The cer­e­mony will be fol­lowed by the troop’s an­niver­sary pro­gram and pre­sen­ta­tion and a silent auc­tion at 3 p.m. and a spaghetti din­ner at 5 p.m.

On Satur­day, a team of Wash­ing­ton Col­lege stu­dents will be sta­tioned at the Ch­ester­town branch of the Kent County Pub­lic Li­brary to scan ar­ti­facts and col­lect sto­ries from WWII vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the main meet­ing room of the li­brary. It is hosted by the Sto­ryQuest Pro­gram and the Starr Cen­ter at Wash­ing­ton Col­lege.

Since 2013, the Sto­ryQuest Pro­gram has recorded more than 200 oral his­to­ries with peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­enced WWII lo­cally or abroad. The record­ings are then achieved at Wash­ing­ton Col­lege, where they are ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic.

The Kent County Art Coun­cil cur­rently hosts an ex­hi­bi­tion of art­work cre­ated by vet­er­ans called “WarFront/ HomeFront.” Vet­er­ans have painted im­ages, writ­ten po­etry or screen-printed im­ages on re­cy­cled mil­i­tary uni­forms turned into paper to ex­press their ex­pe­ri­ences in the mil­i­tary.

The ex­hibit hangs at the gallery at 101 Spring Ave. in Ch­ester­town. It can be viewed through­out the month from 12 to 6 p.m. Wed­nes­days, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Satur­days and 11 a.m to 4 p.m. Sun­days.

Also at KCAC, at 2 p.m. Sun­day, there will be a po­etry read­ing by Dr. Fred­er­ick Foote, a medic dur­ing the Viet­nam War. He will read from his book “Medic Against Bomb: A Doc­tor’s Po­etry of War.”

Later in the month, KCAC will host an il­lus­trated lec­ture ti­tled “Beyond Stereo­types: War, War­riors and the Cre­ative Arts.” The lec­ture will be given at 2 p.m. Sun­day, Nov. 19 by Tara Tapper, co-cu­ra­tor of the ex­hibit.

Twin store­front win­dows at 357 High St. are cur­rently dis­play­ing U.S. mil­i­tary uni­forms and mem­o­ra­bilia on loan from Kent County ser­vice per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies.

Des­ig­nated as a trib­ute to lo­cal vet­er­ans of WWII, Korean, Viet­nam and Mid­dle East wars, the trib­ute closes fol­low­ing Vet­er­ans Day.

Rock Hall’s Sgt. Pre­ston Ashely Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 228 is host­ing an open house for vet­er­ans from 1 to 4 p.m. Satur­day. Ad­di­tion­ally, it will host a “Post Ev­er­last­ing” at 1 p.m. Sun­day.

FILE PHOTO

The late Wil­liam Wes­ley Jack­son, U.S. Army, 32-08 Quar­ter­mas­ter, 1943-1945, is one of many lo­cal vet­er­ans be­ing saluted Fri­day at “Sto­ries in Ser­vice” at the Garfield Cen­ter for the Arts.

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