Event marks nation-wide ‘Moment’
Pennsylvania’s Music Preservation Society (PAMPS) is partnering with WFMZ-TV and the Lehigh and Northampton county executives to sponsor a community-wide audio and visual streaming event on Memorial Day, centered around the nationwide Moment of Remembrance, and providing an interactive way for Lehigh Valley residents to stand together outdoors while still keeping safe.
The event will feature music by 2019 Performer of the Year Alex Meixner, co-founder of PAMPS; Dave Fry, award-winning acoustic guitarist and founder of Godfrey Daniels Music Club; and the historic Allentown Band, the oldest civilian concert band in the United tates.
PAMPS Executive Director Carole Gorney said because of the coronavirus the society had to cancel its Great Pennsylvania Music & Arts Celebration held annually on Memorial Day weekend, but “we still wanted to offer a way to observe Memorial Day.”
PAMPS has the support of the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council, which represents some 190 veterans’ organizations. LVMAC President Major General Gerald Still said, “Our usual programs have been placed on hold due to the coronavirus. The Pennsylvania Music Preservation Society and others are presenting a Memorial Day program where we can all honor those who have served our country in so many different ways.”
The 35-40-minute event will involve residents going out onto their porches or lawns, or participating from their apartment windows and balconies, Gorney explained. “It will encourage people while maintaining safe distances to wave at their neighbors to wish them well, to observe the national minute of silence together at 3:00 p.m., listen to “Taps” and sing “God Bless America” with music streaming on their mobile devices.”
Residents may also want to hold up signs or wave flags during the event, Gorney said.
The streaming messages during the event will include gratitude to nurses and doctors, as well as first responders, many of whom are military personnel from all branches who have been pressed into service, according to Gorney. “It will also be an opportunity to remember our deceased military who gave their lives in service to the country, and to those coronavirus victims who have died.”
Maj. Gen. Still added his own comments. “Memorial Day is a day to remember all those individuals who sacrificed everything. I encourage all Americans to take a few moments on Memorial Day to hear and participate in our audio streaming program to honor the sacrifices made for all of us.”
Among those who will participate in the streaming programming are Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong and Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure Jr.
“Between now and May 25 we will be reaching out to civic groups, musicians, businesses, nonprofits. theater companies and anyone else who has an email list to help us get the word out
and maximize participation,” Gorney said. “This is the perfect way for us to stay connected as a community, without risking our health and safety.”