The event’s theme of “Community, Country and Corps” will offer more than 80 free, public events across the city Sept. 7–11. The opening ceremony, which is also being held at Public Square, will kick the week off on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m., and will feature a musical performance by country music star Darryl Worley and a special presentation and remarks by Barry.
Throughout the week, the public will have the opportunity to climb aboard a variety of the Corps’ aircraft and ground equipment at static display venues throughout downtown, to include the MV-22 Osprey aircraft and the multifaceted Amphibious Assault Vehicle. People of all ages are invited to attend Marine Corps martial arts and military working dog demonstrations, work out alongside Marines during physical fitness demonstrations, and take in the sights and sounds of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and Marine Band San Diego.
The Marines will be special guests during a performance of the Grand Ole Opry on Friday, Sept. 9, with country favorites Billy Ray Cyrus and Crystal Gayle among those scheduled to appear. Other highlights of the week include two live Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstrations at Riverfront Park, Marines competing in the Dragon Boat Festival on the Cumberland River and a Saturday-evening parade on Lower Broadway. Each day will begin with a 6 a.m. reveille and close with taps at 10 p.m.
“We are bringing our equipment, our ethos and our history to Nashville,” said 1st Lt. Johnny Henderson, public affairs officer for Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Nashville. “Marine Week serves as an opportunity for us to show the Nashville community the high standard of professionalism and discipline embodied by every Marine and how their service enables the Marine Corps to respond to crises around the world and to win our nation’s battles.”
To end the week, the public is invited to join the Marines and community leaders at War Memorial Plaza on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 9 a.m., for a remembrance ceremony in honor of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Following the ceremony, the Marines will conduct a live Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration at Riverfront Park, and then they will support the Tennessee Titans from the field and the skies at Nissan Stadium in their season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
The theme of the week – “Nashville Has a Backstage Pass” – was selected to play off Nashville’s musical history, and the music community has already stepped up in support of the U.S. Marines. In addition to Worley and the Grand Ole Opry performances, country music star Aaron Tippin joined the Marines and the mayor at Wednesday’s news conference, playing an acoustic version of “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly.” Also, country music stars Reba McEntire and Mark Chesnutt have recorded Marine Week Nashville public service announcements to play at the Nashville International Airport that will greet visitors and the 700-plus Marines coming to the city.
For a full list of events, visit the Marine Week Nashville website at www.usmarineweek.com. Additional information can also be found on Facebook @marineweek, on Twitter @marine_week and on Instagram @marine_week.
Previous Marine Weeks have taken place in Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Cleveland, Seattle and Phoenix.