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Iwo Jima veteran's 90th birthday to be celebrated at 9/11 tribute event in Elma

by jmaloni

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Tue, Sep 10th 2013 11:35 pm

Made in America Store's fourth annual commemoration takes place Saturday

Patriot Day (9/11) will be commemorated this Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the Made in America Store's annual 9/11 Tribute Concert and Family Day at its original, flagship location, 900 Maple St., in Elma.

This is the fourth annual 9/11 commemoration sponsored by the Made in America Store to remember those who were lost on Sept. 11 - including the first responders. It is also an event that respects the service and sacrifice of U.S. men and women in military uniform engaged in the ensuing Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and the recently ended Operation Iraqi Freedom. In fact, the local "I AM" (Iraq Afghanistan Memorial) committee will be present to share its progress to erect a monument honoring this nation's current generation of Western New York heroes at the Buffalo Naval & Military Park. The United States National Defense Force Support Command also will have an informational table.

The 9/11 tribute opens at 10 a.m. with vendor displays, including Bada-Bing dog treats and grooming products, Barrett Brothers kettle corn, and maple syrup from Baldwin Hill Farms. Hidden Valley Animal Adventure will bring live animals, including a camel and a tortoise.

At 11 a.m., three tour buses will arrive from three different midwestern states: Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. More than 200 tour buses have visited the Made in America Store since it opened in 2010.

The concert is free to the public, and food and beverage will be available for purchase from Dale's Rollin' Smoke BBQ and the store.

At 1 p.m., a veteran of the 4th Division of the U.S. Marine Corps and survivor of the Battle of Iwo Jima will be honored with a cake for his service, as well as his 90th birthday. This veteran will be aboard the next Honor Flight of World War II veterans travelling to Washington, D.C., in October.

Matt Hanna, also a Marine Corps veteran, is the resident artist of the Made in America Store. Using only a chainsaw and no hand tools, he will carve an original work of art out of a single piece of wood. He is best known for carving the life-size wooden sculpture of the iconic raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima. The sculpture is located in front of the Made in America Store. Hanna's sculpture of the flag-raising on the rubble of the Twin Towers after 9/11 is on display at Jamison Fire Hall. The Jamison Fire Co. volunteer firefighters will be flying a giant American flag at the event.

Three bands will play from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.: Diamondback and Not Quite Right will open for Ricky Lee. At 4:30 p.m., Mark Andol, founder of the Made in America Store, will deliver brief remarks and ask for a moment of silence to remember 9/11. The concert headliner, Ricky Lee, will then sing the national anthem and begin his set, which is expected to last more than one hour.

The public should bring their own lawn chairs. Coolers are welcome. Proceeds from a 50/50 raffle will be donated to the Veterans' One-stop Center of WNY, located at 1280 Main St., 2nd Floor, Buffalo.

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