Lakeside

What Do You Honor on July 4th?

Happy July 4, 2014. I know that most families take this weekend to go to the beach,  have some down time, host wonderful cookouts and enjoy summer fun.  I hope each of you has a great time with your friends and family this holiday as we celebrate the many freedoms we have in this country.

American Veteran’s Tribute Organization Celebration

American Veterans Tribute Organization holds its annual celebration at Lake Gaston to honor past and present veterans.
American Veterans Tribute Organization holds its annual celebration at Lake Gaston to honor past and present veterans.

Recognizing that our freedoms come at a cost both historically and currently, I spend my holiday honoring veterans.

Each July 4th, The American Veterans Tribute Organization (AVT) hosts a phenomenal tribute to past and present military, complete with a full day of music from live bands and one of the largest fireworks shows on the East Coast. The AVT focuses on specific honorees—really heroes—who have served our country with unique distinction. We have a myriad of fun and meaningful moments while we center our attention on those who have so faithfully served our country.

This year we are honoring Captain Cathy Wilson and Col. Stuart Seaton.

Col. Seaton is a WWII veteran who served as a paratrooper with the artillery. He was a brave and steadfast soldier and leader who blazed trails so that his fellow soldiers could have the artillery they needed to do battle. Captain Wilson also helped many soldiers recover from wounds by acting as both a medical caregiver and an administrator.

Wilson is still working with veterans as Deputy Director, Virginia, to help veterans receive the care they need. We are so honored to have her as our first lady of AVT and also Col. Seaton as a very special honoree.

A dynamic celebration at Lake Gaston

One of the unique dynamics of this whole event is that thousands of people will pull up into our cover on Lake Gaston to spend the day with us. In total, we enjoy the company of about 20,000 people on the shorelines and in the water as we perform on stage, broadcast videos, present a 4-minute display of fireworks, and attend to honoring our veterans with awards, tributes and an overall day of celebrating.

It is a busy weekend for me but also a  joyful occasion. The crowd truly celebrates our freedoms as well as our freedom-makers.

I hope your holiday is a good one. 

I will spend most of my time playing on stage with the American Veterans Tribute Band then having fun with thousands of great people. We all will be enjoying a beautiful day in a wonderful setting as we remember our freedoms and service men and women this holiday.

I do want to always say thanks for reading Lakeside Connect. I hope you and your family have a great Fourth of July weekend.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network

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