Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hannah Block Historic USA Foundation Special Event -- USO Building, Downtown Wilmington, July 4th, 2011

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / July 3, 2011
On Monday, July 4th , 2011, the Hannah Block Historic USO, one of only a handful of WWII USO structures remaining in the United States, will host Step up for Soldiers to celebrate and honor our servicemen and women, both currently serving and veterans, as well as their families with an old-fashioned cookout and 4th of July celebration. 

Step Up for Soldiers, founded by Tom Russell a retired New York Ports Authority Police Officer and US Army Veteran serving in the Vietnam War, is a nonprofit charity organization that reaches out to members of the United States military who were sent overseas in response to that 9/11 attack and strives to support those military personal who return home with injuries so that they may rehabilitate at home with their families.

The Hannah Block USO, located at 120 S. Second Street will open at 12 noon for self-guided tours of the restored lobby, which features displays, photo murals, reproduction furniture and other items that interpret Wilmington's history as "America's World War II City" as well as the newly dedicated World War II Aviators Memorial. Be sure to visit the new Community Gallery as well, currently exhibiting the stained glass work of Niki Hildebrand and wood sculpture by Burt Millette.

At 4 PM, local Historian Wilbur Jones will present a lecture on the history of the Second & Orange USO. At 5 PM Step Up for Soldiers will be serving up an Old Fashioned Cookout. A suggested $10 donation to Step up for Soldiers feeds the entire family!

At 6:00 prepare to Jitter Bug & Jive as the Duke Ladd Combo will be providing musical entertainment featuring Standard & Big Band tunes. At 7 PM a special presentation by the National Sojourners will interpret our Nation's Flag.

The evening will conclude at 9 PM with the 15th Annual Battleship Blast fireworks display over the beautiful Cape Fear River. For more information please contact Tom Russell with Step Up for Soldiers at 910.297.4981 or Jennifer Coxe with the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center at 910.341.7860. /