DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s Marine Week in Detroit — a celebration of the US Marine Corps that is held in just one city a year.
The week-long commemoration includes more than 80 community activities throughout metro Detroit and free events open to the public across downtown Detroit, Sept. 6-10.
The festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Campus Martius Park with a grand opening ceremony, featuring performances by Marine Band San Diego and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.
Throughout the week, metro Detroiters will have the opportunity to climb aboard vehicles and aircraft in the Marine Corps inventory on display in the GM parking lot along Atwater Street in Detroit, aka “Camp Shultz” — named in honor of Private First Class Harold Schultz, a Detroit native who was among the US soldiers who raised the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II. The public will also have the opportunity to meet the Marines who operate and maintain the equipment. Displays will be open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. -12 p.m. on Sunday.
The Marines invite the community to watch two impressive Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstrations featuring aviation and reconnaissance Marines executing a visit, board, search and seizure mission on a barge on the Detroit Riverfront, behind the GM Ren Cen. The first demonstration will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 beginning with a 1:15 p.m. pre-event show. A post-event rock concert featuring the music of Marine Band San Diego’s “Sound Strike” will close out the day’s festivities. The second demonstration is slated for 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, Sept.10.
Other opportunities for the public to engage with the Marines include:
- Daily Marine workout sessions at 7 a.m. at Cadillac Square
- Wreath laying ceremonies with Gold Star Families to honor fallen Marines at 9 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday at the Spirit of Detroit statue
- The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall will be displayed in Hart Plaza, Friday through Sunday
- A mural unveiling ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Montford Point Detachment, Marine Corps League
- A public remembrance ceremony on Sunday at 9 a.m. in Hart Plaza, honoring those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks
Keeping with Marine tradition, each morning will begin with reveille at 6 a.m. and conclude with Taps at 10 p.m. in front of the Spirit of Detroit statue.
Detroit sports fans will also get a chance to take part in Marine Week Detroit during Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions games held that week. Baseball fans will have the opportunity to cheer on General Robert B. Neller, the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, as he throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Tigers play the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 6 at Comerica Park.
On Sunday, Marines will deliver the game day football to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, which they will present on field before the team takes on the Arizona Cardinals. Prior to kickoff, Captain Skye Martin will perform the National Anthem. The Corps will also support the hometown football team with pre-game activities and performances throughout the game.
Approximately 700 Marines will make their way to the Motor City to showcase the history, capabilities, pride and professionalism of the Marine Corps, as well as honor the service and sacrifice of Marines and their families.
The Marine Corps has hosted seven iterations of Marine Week in different North American cities including Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Cleveland, Seattle, Phoenix and Nashville. Marine Week is the Corps’ largest community outreach program designed to connect the public to their United States Marine Corps.
For the full Marine Week Detroit event lineup, go to usmarineweek.com.