SEPTEMBER 8, 2016, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Marine Week Nashville kicked off with an opening ceremony welcoming the Marines, Tennesseans, and visitors to the Music City, Sept. 7, 2016.
More than 800 Marines and sailors with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Nashville, have arrived in the capital to interact with and participate in events with the community. These events will last Sept. 7-11 and include school visits, static displays by the river, MAGTF demonstrations, concerts and many more displays of the Marine Corps’ capabilities and gratitude of the community’s support.
“It is a great honor to welcome everyone here this week,” said Nashville’s Mayor Megan Barry. “We are going to get a feel, for the next five days, what it’s like to be a Marine.”
Tennessee, being a land-locked state, does not get the opportunity to interact with Marines as often as communities near the bases on either coast. Marine Week provides the opportunity for the people of the greater Nashville area to meet individual Marines and learn what the Corps is all about.
“This week is our opportunity to share the heritage, history and traditions of the United States Marine Corps,” said Lt. Col. Lauren Edwards, commanding officer of 8th Engineer Support Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, and Nashville native.
The SPMAGTF-Nashville is made up from units and special programs throughout the Marine Corps bringing Marines from across the country to Nashville to share their stories with the community.
“Nashvillians have a backstage pass to the Marine Corps,” Barry said. “We are just so happy it’s all happening here in Nashville.”
The Marine Corps prides itself on being America’s Expeditionary Force in readiness. Throughout the years there have been rumors of the Marine Corps being dissolved, yet it is the American people who do not want to see it go.
“Over the last 15 years the American people have supported us through Iraq and Afghanistan and as we respond to crisis all over the world,” said Lt. Gen. James Laster, director of Marine Corps Staff. “Today Marines remain forward deployed, knowing that when they return they have the full support and thanks from people like you. Marine Week Nashville offers us the opportunity to commemorate your unwavering support.”