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National Park Service Press Release
Wreath Laying Ceremony Commemorates Columbus Day
For Immediate Release:
October 05, 2004
Contact(s):   Toni Braxton, 202- 619-7222


Wreath Laying Ceremony Commemorates Columbus Day

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The National Park Service and the National Columbus Celebration Association will co-sponsored the 92nd annual Christopher Columbus ceremony. This ceremony will be held at the Christopher Columbus Statue in Columbus Plaza, opposite Union Station at 11 a.m., Monday, October 11. The United States Marine Band will provide a musical prelude beginning at 10:45 a.m.

The monumental statue was dedicated June 8, 1912; and has been the focal point for yearly celebrations since that time to honor the great navigator and discoverer. The front shaft of the statue, which is crowned with a globe supported by eagles, is a prow of a ship with winged figurehead symbolizing Discovery. Columbus Day was declared a national holiday in 1971.

The annual ceremony is open and free to the public. The ceremony will feature representatives from the Diplomatic Corps of Italy, Spain, The Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the Organization of American States. Ceremonial music provided by the United States Marine Band, "The President's Own" under the direction of Lt Col Michael J. Colburn and Capt Jason K. Fettig, conducting. On June 8 1912, "The President's Own" United States Marine Band participated in the unveiling of the Columbus Memorial Fountain, providing ceremonial music during the official ceremony. Like the monuments the Marine Band has helped dedicate, its continued presence in American life stands as a symbol of the traditions and ideals on which our country was founded.

Dr. David R. Curfman, President of the National Columbus Celebration Association, will serve as master of ceremonies. Mr. Gentry Davis, Deputy Regional Director, National Park Service will give remarks.

The United States Armed Forces Honor Guard, Military District of Washington Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Color Corps, Calvert Province and the Districts of Washington Archdiocese, Maryland and Virginia will make the Presentation of Colors. Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin, Chaplain; United States House of Representatives, will deliver the invocation.

Miss Monika Grzesik, resident of Macomb Township, Michigan, the national winner of the eighth annual youth essay contest, will deliver her essay entitled "A Day in the Life of Christopher Columbus the Explorer."

Since 1996 this nation-wide contest is co-sponsored by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and The National Italian American Foundation. The prize for the national winner is a cash prize of $1,200 along with travel expenses and hotel accommodations for the student and one parent/guardian to Washington, D.C. for the holiday weekend.

The ceremony will conclude with the laying of wreaths at the statue by many national and local fraternal, civic, patriotic and cultural societies.

-NPS-


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Christopher Columbus Statue in Columbus Plaza



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