“We started this looking at the 150th year anniversary of the battle,” East Atlanta resident and chairman Henry Bryant said. “We are doing this so that we learn about history, know our history and understand why our history is important.”
This year’s week-long event, which commemorates the 149th anniversary, starts Saturday and ends July 21. The event contains different activities each day. Bryant said the goal is to maintain each activity from year to year, but also add new ones. New to the event this year are four author programs, a new lineup of storytellers and stories and a dancing gala. Gala attendees will listen and dance to the music from Matt George and his band. The purpose of the gala this year is to raise money to restore the battlefield monuments.
“We hope that by restoring the monuments, we will leave a reminder to those in 3013 of our heritage,” Bryant said. “We want to reclaim our national history, for the good of our children. It sounds a little of a cliché, but we want to know our history so that we do not repeat it.”
The oral history program will feature two Civil Rights activities. Martha Holmes-Jackson and Rosalyn Walter-Lees were among the first students to integrate Georgia public schools. Holmes-Jackson and Walter-Lees will tell their stories of attending high school at Murphy High School, which was at the battlefield of the Battle of Atlanta.
On July 20, runners will take to the battlefield in the 5K Doublequick Race. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the two battlefield monuments, along with a performance by the 8th Regiment Band. The event ends July 21 with a Twilight Tour of Oakland Cemetery and Pamela Hain discussing her book “Murder in the State Capitol.”
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