The annual event set for this weekend at Heritage Park in Canton will also feature the American Veteran Traveling Tribute’s Cost of Freedom Tribute in its first time to be displayed in Cherokee County, event volunteer coordinator Mike Grier said.
The air show is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park in Canton. All events are free and open to the public.
The Cost of Freedom Tribute with its centerpiece replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall will be available for community viewing Friday and Saturday.
“We want to salute the men and women who protect our country,” Grier said of the event he has helped organize for seven years, six of them in Cherokee County.
The traveling exhibit is about 80 percent scale of the Vietnam Veterans Wall in Washington, D.C., with 58,000 names of men and women killed in the Vietnam War, he said.
The Cost of Freedom exhibit officially opens today at 10 a.m. with a ceremony featuring a color guard and a keynote address by Col. Brent Bracewell of the Georgia Army National Guard.
The display will then be open for viewing around the clock until Saturday at 4 p.m.
The AVTT’s Cost of Freedom presentation will offer the community a special place to honor, respect and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, Grier said.
The air show itself will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday with a naturalization ceremony for about 30 people who have obtained citizenship, Grier said.
The Vietnam Memorial Wall will provide an emotional backdrop as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hosts the special naturalization ceremony for serving U.S. military and others as they become the newest citizens during the American Heroes Air Show opening ceremony, Grier said
“Immigration is a hot topic and we wanted to showcase the people who have done it right. This is their graduation; they come from all over the state. We wanted to incorporate it into our air show and let people see how to make a difference,” Grier said.
The naturalization ceremony has been included in the event the last three years, he said.
In addition to an exciting air show, the event will provide free presentation space to public safety and military recruiting teams.
Helicopters from law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services and homeland security organizations will present static displays and exciting flight demos.
Concessions, entertainment and aviation related vendors are expected.
If the event does raise any money it will be donated to the Wounded Warrior association, Grier said.
Grier is a helicopter flight instructor, and served in Army from 1989 to 1996.