Once again, middle-schoolers honor vets

... breakfast, an escort, a band, almost 100 soldiers, sailors, Marines

Photos from ex-Marine Don Norris

It all happened on the day before the real Veterans' Holiday, which fell on a
Tuesday morning. But the folks at the Melrose Middle School had a serious
conflict with dates, and so we vets were honored, in Melrose, on Monday,
November 10. The production was entirely done by the Middle-Schoolers,
except, perhaps, the preparation of the breakfast table.

There was an army of young ladies at the front entrance, there to escort each
veteran inside, arm-in-arm. Just delightful. Inside, in the 'great hall', a
breakfast table some 30 feet long was set up, with tables filling the area

In the crowd of perhaps 100 guests were veterans of wars dating back to
World War II -- soldiers (men and women), for the most part, who are now
touching 90 years of age. Remember these? Wars in Korea, Vietnam,
Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, even Yemen -- to say nothing of perhaps hundreds
of skirmishes around this globe that were not big enough to be listed as a

There representatives of all branches of our armed force -- the Army, Navy.
Coast Guard, Marines -- not to mention people attached to such as the
Secret Service and civilians in government charged with negotiating peace.

Common among the guests was their white hair -- whether brought on by
age or possibly the stress of warfare.

There were grandparents, moms, dads, males and females -- and a handful
of beautiful babes-in-arms.

Comrades between wars shook hands, some two generations apart. Uniforms
and parts of uniforms -- some seventy years old -- were in evidence.

The students and their teachers put on the production -- as they have for
several years. It was strange to see an eighty-year-old on the arm of an
eighth-grade escort. But it was delightful.

The music was provided by a handsome band/orchestra composed of
youngsters in seventh, eighth and ninth grades. The music was spot-on,
beautifully done.

These are the producers: the students of the Middle School. Although history
indicates otherwise, it would be comforting to imagine a ban on war, and
these kids, as patriotic as they are, will not have to wear a uniform.

And finally, the ceremony, the speeches provided by both the students and
the veterans. It was a successful -- and appreciated -- event.

December 5, 2014

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