Mark the calendar and plan to be at the Sahuarita High School auditorium on Saturday, January 23, at 10:00 a.m. for the Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance ceremony. Several Color Guards will honor our Nation’s veterans. The Gatekeepers from the Ironwood Hills Church in Tucson will play an assortment of patriotic songs. The event is free.
The Massing of the Colors originally began in the early 1900s as a solemn ceremony to honor our Nation’s war dead. Known initially as the Decoration Day Massing of the Colors Ceremony, the event focused upon remembering all those who had perished in battle and honored their personal sacrifices. Sixty-one military and patriotic organizations began participating in the early 1920s. Many of the same groups continue to this day.
The Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) Veteran Services Organization assumed the responsibility for conducting this ceremony in 1927 and has continued to promote it nationally ever since. The Santa Cruz Valley MOWW Chapter hosts this signature event to honor all of those who serve the Nation, whether in active military service, retired, the reserve or National Guard. The ceremony also recognizes those serving in law enforcement, first responders and firefighters.
Among the special guests who are expected to participate in this year’s event are a Pearl Harbor attack survivor who resides in the Tucson area, local southern Arizona WWII Air Corps Tuskegee Airmen and local and state government representatives.
The Gatekeepers have crafted a musical program specifically for this year’s event combining love of God and Country while also highlighting and celebrating all the potential, promise and hope through investment in our youth. If this group can’t inspire a strong feeling of patriotism, then no one can.