LANSING | The Liberty Call brass band based at the Great Lakes Naval Base will not perform Sunday as part of a tribute to the military at the village’s annual Autumn Fest.
Joel Thiesfeldt, a Naval musician 1st Class, said Thursday it was decided to cancel the band's performance, which would have been the finale of the military tribute.
“The decision was made not to appear at any community events while the shutdown is in effect,” Thiesfeldt said.
All nonessential activities in the federal government are shut down.
Jo-Ellyn Kelley, the owner of J.J. Kelley’s Restaurant & Pub, 2455 Bernice Road, was disappointed to learn of the decision by the Liberty Call band, one of eight musical groups assigned to the naval base near North Chicago.
But she said the military tribute still will be a lengthy program. It will include a recognition of soldiers who fought in past wars, a prayer service, the presence of Gold Star mother Georgette Frank and members of the Martini family, whose son, Philip, a Marine lance corporal from Lansing, was killed by sniper fire in Iraq in 2006.
Although Kelley said she thinks the most interesting part of the program could be when a Marine drill sergeant puts the dozen organizers of the program through an inspection on stage while Autumn Fest-goers watch.
“He’s going to drill us just like they do real Marines,” she said.
Deborah Albrecht, Lansing Public Library director who helped coordinate the event, said she’d still like to see Liberty Call come to Lansing in future years to participate in Autumn Fest.
To which Thiesfeldt said naval officials would be sympathetic.
“Absolutely. We are more than willing to come to Lansing,” he said.