Garfield Center to Honor Veterans

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The Garfield Center for the Arts and The Kent County News have partnered to celebrate Veteran’s Day on Friday, Nov. 10 with the Stories in Service Celebration, an evening of stories and songs honoring our local veterans. Featuring performances by the Chester River Youth Choir and the Kent County High School Band, this free community event begins at 7 p.m. at the Garfield Center for the Arts.

William Wesley Jackson in World War II uniform

Stories in Service is the pet project of the Garfield’s Theatre Manager, Tess Hogans. Hogans began interviewing local veterans with the help of the Kent County News staff and theatre photographer Jeff Weber back in January. Her goal was to offer retired and active duty service members an opportunity to share their thoughts or memories from their time in service. Hogans was directing the Garfield’s production of Mister Roberts at the time, and during the run of the show in February 2017 there were about 50 interview posters hanging in the Garfield’s Kohl lobby for all to see. The Chestertown Spy and The Kent County News also took up the project, posting each interview.

On Nov. 10, the project expands to showcase a video that Hogans has created with photos and audio clips from a selection of the interviews that she conducted. She writes, “I was only able to print three or four sentences of the interviews on the posters. I wanted to let an audience hear more of what these remarkable men and women had to say, and in their own voices.”

William Wesley Jackson

One of the veterans interviewed in January for the project was William Wesley Jackson of Worton. Mr. Jackson was a Private First Class in the US Army during WWII, and was honorably discharged on Nov. 21, 1945 after serving under General George Patton and fighting on the beaches at Normandy. When asked about his time in service he said, “We landed on Normandy Beach. 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.” Mr. Jackson passed away in August of 2017. The Stories in Service celebration on Nov. 10 will be dedicated to his memory.

Any questions about the Stories in Service project or about the event can be directed to Tess Hogans by calling the Garfield at 410-810-2060 or emailing thogans@garfieldcenter.org. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

 

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