Liberty Weekend 1986 - Were you there?

Liberty Weekend 1986 was the celebration of the 200th anniversary of our country and the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.

SGI members gathered from all across America to join the celebration. Madison Square Garden was completely packed with a total of 25,000 members.

(Photos - Seikyo Times Aug 1986)

The program included 7,500 performers and 17,500 spectators (including me). Were you one of the spectators or performers?

There was a full orchestra in the ship (see the masts in the photo?)

(Photos - Seikyo Times Aug 1986)

-- John Astin as Ben Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Ron Glass and Patrick Duffy in the center of the photo.

One of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the history of the world in
New York Harbor where a circle of 42 barges shot off rockets with the
Statue of liberty in the center. The Highlight was the simultaneous blasting
of 42 rockets, which lit up the sky for miles in dazzling colors.

(Photos - Seikyo Times Aug 1986)

(Photos - Seikyo Times Aug 1986)

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Comment by Pat on April 5, 2009 at 1:15am
What was your favorite part of the event?
Comment by James Ryan on April 4, 2009 at 5:13pm
I was there. Didn't get to see the fireworks :( Brass Band, baby!
Comment by Pat on July 14, 2008 at 3:20am
Byrd, I don't remember a keynote speaker.
Comment by Dan on July 11, 2008 at 11:47pm
Hi Byrd,

come to think of it, one of the most incredible moments I experienced was when one of my women's div. WD chorus members from Wisconsin were lined up in front, hundreds of members standing in line waiting to get into Madison Square Garden. I asked the six of them if they could sing what they sang during the performance the other day. They cheerfully complied. Next thing we knew, different pockets of songs in harmony started bursting out amongst the crowd from end of the Garden to the other, as they were joined by the WD chorus members dispersed amongst the members. The New York locals (and members) stopped in their tracks and were enthralled.
Comment by Pat on July 4, 2008 at 3:33pm
Isn't it great reliving all these wonderful memories??? I love this.
Comment by Dan on July 4, 2008 at 3:30pm
I was in Madison Square Garden as Soka Group. My most memorable moment was stopping all these starry-eyed roller-skating YMD gymnasts in their tracks in the backstage; it was like the Keystone cops as they careened, crashed, and fell over each other. They then had to take off their roller skates wherever they landed and rush back onto the stage.
Comment by Linda on July 4, 2008 at 7:26am
HI Pat! Great memories!! Hey I didn't know you were in KC? You are very close to me...I'm in OKC. Good to see you in this space. Happy 4th of July!!
Comment by BB BERG on July 4, 2008 at 6:18am
hello again Pat,the reason Im so grateful to see these photos is that I WAS THERE BUT IN THE BATHROOM THE WHOLE TIME DOING BYAKUREN.
It was the most amazing experience for me.My jobs were to hand out flags to the members at the front door then to take care of the bathrooms,toilet paper etc.For hours and hours I stayed in the bathroom and chanted and managed to get a tiny break to see Herbie.I absorbed everything of the essence of that meeting,I changed my whole life and yet didnt see much of anything.It was a lesson in sevice and getting rid of my ego.I am a performer yet I was guarding the bathrooms.I really learned what is means to do kosen rufu in the shadows and it affected my singing my whole life.thank you.BB
Comment by BB BERG on July 4, 2008 at 3:48am
OH MY GOSH YES i WAS THERE HOW AMAZING YOU HAVE PHOTOS,ID LIKE TO DOWNLOAD THEM.That weekend changed my entire life.How wonderful to remember-

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