Marine Week Nashville officially kicked off Wednesday with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. at Public Square Park.
The public received a first-hand look at different Marine Corps assets, including aircraft, weaponry, amphibious and land vehicles and mine-detecting technology. Through demonstrations and observations, residents of Nashville also had the chance to meet many of the Marines personally.
“We’re getting connected with the citizens and giving them a chance to see what it is we do,” said Cpl. Michael Jones, a mortar man with Fox Co., 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. “I’m giving them information on the mortar systems we use, while also explaining what it means to be a Marine.”
Visitors were able to tour certain vehicles and aircraft, and children got hands-on experience with some of the equipment, as well.
“This is a wonderful chance for people to get up close and personal with the Marines,” said Dominic Breeze, a resident of Mt. Juliet. “It’s important to remember they’re putting their lives out there for citizens of the U.S.”
From Wednesday through Sunday, more than 800 Marines will hold more than 100 events for residents of the greater Nashville area, including parades, school and hospital visits, community service projects and more.
“I think it’s amazing. It’s a great honor to come here and talk about the Marine Corps,” said Jones.
“You don’t see the people who are defending your country on a daily basis,” said Breeze. “It’s a good reminder to the public that these are real people putting their lives in harm’s way, and it’s not always about what occurs on the other side of the planet. It’s a great community builder for everybody.”