Atlanta Games Attract Army Throng
By Robert Docter –
Western Salvationists, many of whom have been captivated by the television coverage of the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, have been delighted to see Army uniforms and services visible in significant ways.
Commissioner Kenneth Hood, territorial commander for the USA Southern Territory, described many of the activities in an exclusive interview with New Frontier. The Army was very visible ministering to the crowd and to law enforcement personnel with four canteens, one at each corner of Centennial Park, the evening of the tragic bomb blast during a nightly rock concert. The blast killed one spectator and another died rushing to the scene. Immediately on the scene were FBI and ATF bomb and explosive experts, many of whom had first met the Army during the Oklahoma City bombing of the Federal Building.
Nine service corps teams from across the world have joined six teams from three U.S. territories. One of those teams is from the West. More than 1,000 attended the dedication of the teams by the National Commander, Commissioner Robert Watson, in Atlanta Temple prior to the opening of the games. Besides participation from the USA Western, Central and Southern territories, teams have come from Russia, Georgia, two teams from Australia, which will host the games in Sydney in the year 2000, two teams from Canada, and one each from Argentina, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
“The international nature of the games provides a wonderful opportunity for the Army to display our own internationalism,” Hood said, “and we are delighted to host these service corps teams, all of whom have provided their own transportation to Atlanta. They have done a wonderful job in revealing the Army spirit and broadcasting the Christian message through faith and values programs.”
Hood explained that the teams present mime and puppet demonstrations at each of the many Olympic venues and also take turns working at the many Army canteens throughout the area.
More than 150 Salvation Army volunteers served in excess of 26,000 gallons of water per day and 6,000 gallons of Powerade each day, distributing more than 3.6 million cups of free water and Powerade at the 49 distribution sites. Five thousand pounds of ice were used each day to keep the drinks cool.
A number of major symphony orchestras have been rehearsing at the Atlanta Temple auditorium. Among them have been the Moscow Symphony, the Korean National Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony and Chorale.