Veterans got top billing, top honors and plenty of fun at the June 6 event, “Sentimental Journey II: A Tribute to America’s Greatest Generation,” at First Assembly in Memphis.
Veterans of WWII were honored with music from the Memphis Jazz Orchestra, the Christi Hall Swing Dancers, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by some modern-day Andrews Sisters, and plenty of other music from the era.
Festivities included speakers, videos, patriotic narration, a salute to the Armed Forces, displays of vehicles and equipment, and more.
Program of events
The evening’s activities at Sentimental Journey II (SJ-II) included:
- Opening commentary, Joe Birch
- “In the Mood,” by the Memphis Jazz Orchestra and six Christi Hall Swing Dancers
- “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” in the style of the Andrews Sisters, performed by Julie Hight, Nicole Hale and Allison Perez
- Kathy Carradine Dancers and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- SJ-11 Co-Hosts, Daniel Hight and Erin Hatley
- “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” by Brennen Villines, Lydia Hart, David Wooten, Graham Elwood, Julie Hight, Nicole Hale, Allison Perez and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “The European Conflict” video
- Diane Hight, Forever Young Senior Veterans
- Military song medley, by Steve White
- “Sentimental Journey,” by Julie Kennon and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “It Had to Be You,” by Brennen Villines and Lydia Hart
- “Embraceable You,” by Lydia Hart and the and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “War at Home — Stateside during WWII” video
- “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” by Julie Hight, Nicole Hale and Allison Perez and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “Come Rain or Come Shine,” by Bob Geabhart and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “The Best of Times and the Worst of Times” video
- Candid conversation, WWII veterans and Diane Hight
- “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” by Julie Kennon and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “At Last,” by Nicole Hale and Graham Elwood and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “It’s Almost Like Being in Love,” by Corey Riggs and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “Sing, Sing, sing,” by the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- “Remembering Ernie Pyle” video
- D-Day Narration, by Naval aviator and Commander Emory Brown
- “The War in the Pacific” video
- “He Wears a Pair of Silver Wings,” by Julie Hight
- “The Makin Island Story” video
- “En Gratis / In Memoriam,” Chaplain Dave Mowbray
- “The Star-Spangled Banner,” by Corey Riggs, Cecil Tompkins, David Wooten and Bob Geabhart
- “God Bless the USA,” by David Wooten, Bob Geabhart and Corey Riggs
- Armed Forces narration, by Eddie Thompson
- Salute to the Armed Forces, by SJ-11 Singers, U.S. Armed Forces, and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra
- WWII commemoration medals presentation,” by Diane Hight and the U.S. Armed Forces Branches
- “I Fought for You” video
- “Youth of America Tribute,” by the Jr. Andrews Sisters, as performed by Abby Perkins, Paige DeWitt and Addison DeWitt
- “Victory VE / VJ Day” video
- “When They Were Young,” by Dr. Rice Drewry
- “Finale — Hero for Today,” by Cecil Tompkins, SJ-11 Drama Cast & Singers and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra.
Event producers and directors included Perk Perkins and Diane Hight, both executive producers; and Bob Geabhart, music and program director; Donna Neveu, assistant program director; and Ray Park, sponsorship and marketing director.
Cast and crew included:
Lannie Abernathy, Amy Apple-Hester, Ann Argodale, Joe Birch, Leah Beth Bolton, Royce Box, Christine Bradberry, Glenn Bradberry, Emory Brown, Riley Bullard, Bob Burdge, Lynn Burdge, Brent Bush, Dawn Bush, Barbara Butler, Don Caldwell, Bert Canfield, Kathy Carradine, Kelly Cartwright, CG Ron Chester, Randy Cheston, Barry Childress, Mary Childress, Julie Clark, Abigail Clements, Drew Coleman, John Conway, Anthony Courter, The Family Courter, Luanne Cox, John Creeden, Terry DeShields, Addison DeWitt, Paige DeWitt, Brent Diggs, Camille Diggs, Ellen DiGirolamo, Rice Drewry, Maddie Dunavant, Graham Elwood, David Eubanks, Gina Farley, Timothy Flowers, Sidney Ford, Mark Franklin, Elton Frazier, Tony Gaines, Don Garrett, Sara Garrett, Blake Geabhart, Dianne Geabheart, Florence Gilbertson, Phyllis Goodwin, Wiley Goodwin, Mary Harvey Gurley, Chuck Haaland, Nicole Hale, Austin Hall, Carly Hall, Christi Hall, Jason Hall, Trista Hammer, Fleetis Hannah, Lesa Hart, Lydia Hart, Erin Hatley, SFC Phillip Haygood, Capt. Phillip Heelan, Charles Henderson, Howard Herlihy, Sharon Herlihy, Michael Hester, Brian Hicks, Julie Hight, Harold Hogue, Robert Hoelscher, Carole Hooper, Ray Hunter, Terri Hyatt, Gene Ingram, Emily Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Andrew Jones, George Jones, Julie Kennon, Jim Kern, Lillian Knox, CPD Moe Knox, Ray Knox, Rene Koopman, Mike Krepper, Howard Lamb, Eddie Lancaster, Bob Laurie, Tom Link, Will Lowery, Emily Lunati, Jerry Markham, Ben Marquass, Rich Mauney, Lt. Michael Mayeux, Barbara McFarland, Bob McFarland, Samuel McFatridge, Dale Morgan, David Mowbray, Larry Netter, Stephen Neveu, Jeff Norton, Bridget Nosef, Keith Null, Kevin Pafford, Noah Pafford, Sonya Pafford, Barbara Pahl, Jim Parker, Betty Patriss, Allison Perez, Abby Perkins, Cindy Perkins, Capt. Drew Perkins, Sambo Perkins, Jim Pettit, Jerry Pillsbury, Paul Pritt, Sandra Pritt, Lloyd Rainey, Rodney Rastall, Pat Reed, Corey Riggs, Christina Rivalto, Johnny Rivera, Jimmy Rodgers, Joy Rodgers, James Rone, Theta Rone, Jeremey Shrader, Kara Shreeves, Chuck Siegfried, CSM Danny Smith, Glenn Smith, Kimberly Snyder, SFC Neil Soloman, Danny Spencer, Kathe Spencer, Jackie Starrett, Judy Stephenson, SSG James Sterling, Rachel Sweeney, Winn Stephenson, James Sterling, Emily Sullins, Shayne Tarena, Jack Taylor, Eddie Thompson, Cecil Tompkins, John Turner, Andy Underwood, Owen Vance, Kristen Vanek, Leslie Vanucci, Abby Vaughn, Brenna Villines, Grace Waddell, Joel Waddell, Jason Waln, David Waring, Stan Weddell, Fred White, Donny Widener, Nathan Wilensky, Curtis Williams, Bob Wilson, Mike Wilson, Glen Witham, Carl Wolfe, Lawrence Wolosky, David Wooten, Tammy Worley, Jason Yaskinsky, 1st Sgt. M.L. Young, Lauren Zachary and Michael Zingale.
Sponsors included the American Red Cross, Boyle Investment Company, Butcher Shop, DeSota County Museum, FedEx Corporation (Air Ops and FedEx Office), First Assembly Memphis, Forever Young Senior Veterans, Guardian Moving Systems, Harte-Hanks Inc., Kemmons Wilson, Ladd’s Golf Carts, Malco Theatre, Mid-South Chapter of the MVPA, Mid-South Military Museum Inc., and Jim and Floy Pike, Tennessee State Guard, U.S. Armed Forces and University of Memphis Naval ROTC/Sea Cadets.
For more information, go to foreveryoungvets.org.