... the Vets, the kids, the speakers -- everybody.
A beautiful rendition of our "Star Spangled Banner" was offered by two seventh graders, Evynand and Emma.
The show is an annual affair, basically given direction by the principal of the Melrose Veterns' Memorial Middle School, Thomas Brow. The event has become, in such short time, a tradition to have breakfast cooked and served to you by these youngsters and their helpers. All in all, some 85 Melrose Veterans of wars going back as far s World War II -- the dozens of other skirmishes that have taken place since --- attend the festivities.
The 85 is not the full count, we're sure, but it is significantly more than the small number of vets who march in the annual Memorial Day Parade, later that weekend. What's really fascinating is that the breakfast and its following pageantry in the new, huge, beautiful auditorium, which is populated with all the students at the Middle School -- is packed with soldiers sailors Marine and airmen (and women), proving that these vets appreciate the honor the schools pays them. -- Us, for I am one of them.
The MVMMS lobby serves as a dining area for the vets and their guests -- while the eighth graders -- the "doers" behind the festivities -- serve the guests an outstanding breakfast. There are some helpers behind the counters, also.
There must be at least a thousand youngsters in the auditorium, watching as the hundred-or-so vets -- male and female -- are paraded down the aisle to the stage. The production is basically by the young people -- singing and speaking -- but honored dignitaries give a measure of official recognition to the program.
This year there appeared as special guests a large contingent of soldiers and airmen (and women) who have participated in the battles of Iraq and Afganistan -- swelling the numbers to well over a hundred veterans.
Speakers including state and local dignitaries -- but the highlights were of the presentation were given by two students, Victoria Crovo and Michael Walsh. Modern protocols forbid identification of several of the photographs, at the request of parents.
Veteran guests included a Navy captain and his wife. Two hosts, both eighth-graders, provided patriotic music while breakfast was being served.
Michael Walsh gave one of the Memorial Day messages. Other speakers included Principal Brow, Gerard Frasca, Maria Tramontozzi, Jenna Santos, Olivia Rittenburg, Anastasia Kranz, Keith Morris, Katie Addonizio and Emily Bratchford.
A "Patriotic Salute" was provided by the MVMMS Select Chorus, directed by faculty member, Mrs. Piper.
Vets and their families were invited.
An outstanding MVMMS orchestra was conducted by Mr. Miller and the band by Mr. Repucci.
More veteran guests.
The Light-and-Sound team, from above. At the left is Christopher Schwarze.
Shot of the day: The red-head rushed up to me at the Veterans' breakfast, and insisted that I take her-and-her-two-friends' picture. Okay, I said, line up here. The three assumed the traditional post and I ran off three shots, after which I asked the redhead to write the names of her friends in my pocket notebook.
"Oh", she says, "I don't know who they are -- but we just wanted our picture taken." I giggled and insisted she get the names of all three. The irony of this situation is (as an ex-Marine), the Navy swab-jockey always gets the good-looking ladies. From the left are Julie F. Norton, Navy vet Frank Tambini, and Laura Paladino.
June 7, 2013