by Lisa Tome
Timothy Adams had no intention of letting go of the shadow box he was carrying.
Adams, a fifth grader at Bainbridge Elementary School, was with his sister, Becky, who is a second grader, and his grandfather Vietnam and U.S. Army Veteran, James Kimble. Kimble was visiting the school for the annual Veterans Day celebration last week and brought his medals, including his Purple Heart, along. Kimble said that Veterans Day brings back a flood of memories for him. "I go to the wall (Vietnam Veterans Memorial). Those guys there are forever young. They are all 18-20," Kimble said.
It was a day for honoring and remembering those who had served. Veterans from several wars and those currently serving accompanied students Howard Reed is a Korean War Veteran who turned out to visit his great granddaughters - Rosemaria and Gabriella Diaz. Reed joined other vets for a group photo before the formal ceremony began.
The Rising Sun Middle School Band, under the direction of Robert Castaldi provided music for the event. Scouts from troops 555 and 144 presented the colors.
The band played an armed forces medley. Those who had served or are serving were asked to stand when their medley was played. World War II veteran William Hook was the honored guest speaker. About 40 military and past military members attended and were honored.
"I'm Proud to Be An American" essay winners Jacob Racine, Sammi Orsini, Alinda Chambers, Londyn Ross, Michael Orsini, Grace Myers, and Gabriella Diaz read their tributes. Members from American Legion Post 194 and Perryville American Legion Post 135 were also part of the day.
Bay View Elementary
by Lisa Tome
United States Marine Corps Veteran John Thompson traveled about 1,300 miles to celebrate a special day with his nieces and nephews.
Thompson, who lives in Tallahassee, Florida, and his wife, turned out at Bay View Elementary School on November 11 for the annual Veterans Day program. "I make a yearly visit and we pushed it back this year so I could be here for my nieces and nephews," said Thompson, who has four nieces and nephews who attend the school. "Its nice to know that kids are thinking about this at a young age," said Thompson.
He wasn't the only member of his family at the program. His father, Martin Thompson, Sr., who served in the Army National Guard and Army Reserves from 1966-1972, was there to visit with his grandchildren - Morgan, Megan, Madison, and Mason. "This day means sharing the experience of what Veterans Day is about," said Thompson, Sr.
Donald Griffith, Sr. was representing Susquehanna American Legion Post 135 at the event. "They need to teach the kids what a sacrifice it is to serve. Only a small percentage of people is honored to be in the military," said Griffith who served in the U.S. Army from 1965-1989.
Navy Veteran Robert Trotta returned to Bay View this year to again lead students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Trotta's granddaughter Emma Hammen is a second grader at the school. An older grandchild also attended the school and he accompanied them. "I love this. The school goes all out for veterans," said Trotta.
USMC Veteran Ben Diehl was watching his daughter, Tabitha, sing with the chorus. "I feel appreciative today. I'm glad the kids get a glimpse into what Veterans Day means for our freedoms," said Diehl.
John Stevenson and his daughter, Carolyn Kent, sat side by side during the ceremony. Stevenson has served in the Navy since 1974. Kent was also in the Navy from 1996-2002. Both have family members that attend the school.
Eddie Holmes served in the Air Force from 1948-1952. He then served in the Army from 1974-1990. He was decked out in full military uniform accompanying Alex France and Maxine France. "This means everything to me," said Holmes.
In addition to honoring each of the Veterans, the Bay View chorus, band, and dancers performed. Poems were read and a history of Veterans Day was outlined.