Stephens County celebrates Currahee Military Weekend.
Activities wrapped up Sunday with a remembrance service on Currahee Mountain after starting on Friday and continuing through Saturday.
This was the 12th annual Currahee Military Weekend. It honors the men who trained at Camp Toccoa at the foot of Currahee Mountain to become paratroopers during World War II.
Opening ceremonies took place on Saturday at the historic train depot in downtown Toccoa and Georgia Adjutant General Jim Butterworth served as the featured speaker.
General Butterworth touched on the past, present, and future during his comments.
He first commended the men of Camp Toccoa for what they did some 70 years ago.
“132 men enlisted June 1, 1942 right here in Toccoa, Georgia,” said Gen. Butterworth. “Two years later, the 506th PIR, well-trained, physically fit, jumped into Normandy, unlike anybody else had ever done in war on the face of the Earth.”
He then touched on the present, saying it is important to remember the men of Camp Toccoa and other veterans who have fought to defend the United States and thanking those in attendance for taking time to do so.
Then, General Butterworth turned to about 150 new Army recruits and thanked them for their commitment.
“Thank you for what you will do,” he said. “I commit to you to ensure that your leadership will be what you expect it to be. I encourage you to remember that when you put the uniform on, you remember that on one side of your chest, you represent the strongest, mightiest army on the face of the Earth, the United States Army. Represent it well, whether you have the uniform on or whether you do not. Represent it well. People know your face. On the other side of that uniform, you will have your family’s last name. Represent that family well. Make them proud, as we know you will.”
Those recruits were then sworn into the Armed Forces by one of the men of Camp Toccoa, Col. Edward Shames.
“I am indeed honored to present the oath of enlistment to these outstanding
young men and women,” said Col. Shames. “This oath is the strongest commitment that they will ever make as long as they are a member of the Armed Forces of the United States.”
Following Saturday’s opening ceremonies, activities continued through the day on Saturday both in downtown Toccoa and at the Toccoa-Stephens County Airport.
The annual Currahee Military Weekend banquet took place Saturday night at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center.
Other events held in conjunction with Currahee Military Weekend included the Currahee Challenge run/walk Saturday morning, Chamber of Commerce BBQ on Friday, and a book signing on Friday.