Contact: Renee Graham, Public Communications Officer - (573) 874-7316
COLUMBIA, MO (May 27, 2010) - Mayor Bob McDavid will officially welcome Commander Craig Blakely and crewmembers from the USS Columbia during a public “self host” reception from 5-6:30 p.m., Friday, May 28, Boone Tavern and Restaurant, 811 E. Walnut. The official welcome and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m.
Visiting crewmembers include:
Commander Craig Blakely – Commanding Officer
Master Chief Don Williams – Chief of the Boat
Petty Officer Charles Laymon
Commander Blakely will be accompanied by his wife Joni.
Master Chief Williams’ father and brother are traveling from Texas to visit.
This year’s visit marks the 16th anniversary of Columbia’s namesake partnership with the USS Columbia.
The crew will attend the Honored Guests and Volunteers Banquet Saturday night; attend the air show on Sunday; ride in the Memorial Day parade as guests of the Muddy MO Chapter of the World War II Submarine Veteran’s Association; and participate in the wreath laying ceremony at the courthouse on Monday immediately following the parade. Additional tours and activities are planned throughout the crew’s visit May 28 – June 2.
The visit is sponsored by the Columbia Submarine Committee, which is chaired by Anne Moore, D&M Sound. The VFW Ladies Auxiliary, VFW Post 280, Holiday Inn Executive Center and United States Submarine Veterans Inc. provide financial resources to defray costs.
The USS Columbia was christened in September 1994. It has namesake cities in Missouri, Illinois and South Carolina. Crew from the USS Columbia have participated in Memorial Weekend events every year but one since 1994. Columbia, Mo., and the USS Columbia program is one of the Navy’s longest, continuously active namesake city relationships.
For more information, contact Anne Moore, Columbia Submarine Committee Chair at (573) 449-3933, e-mail email@example.com or Renee Graham at (573-874-7316, e-mail RYG@GoColumbiaMo.com.