Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day Assembly

Memorial Day Ceremony
Field House
Wakefield Memorial High School

Following this morning's Memorial Day assembly, a 100-year-old WWII veteran said to me, filled with emotion: "I will never forget this day".  

I agree with his heartfelt sentiment, as today was the best Memorial Day ceremony in memory and among my very best days as an educator at Wakefield Memorial High School. I have never been more proud of our student body:  the level of respect, dignity, engagement, and appreciation exuded by all of the nearly 1,000 students in our field house was extraordinary and in many ways unique to who we are as a school.  The students' sense of community, demonstrated by their acceptance and respect for one another and our honored veterans, is far from typical.  Many students dressed up for school today. Many students were visibly emotional at various points of the program, especially when we recognized the four members of the Class of 2014 who will enter the service:

Derek Dussault & Sam Carr, US Navy; Brian Auld, Army; Steve Scarpa, Marines
The prolonged, meaningful standing ovation offered by our students to our veterans was particularly moving:

A gathering of our participating veterans following the ceremony
And the many students who spoke, sang, played an instrument, presented the colors, filmed the program - all of them so very professional.  Pictured below is senior Cam Ballard, who put together a World War II presentation, his area of great passion and expertise, and inspired us with a recitation of a WWII letter to servicemen.

Cam Ballard presenting WWII artifacts and historical information to our guests
My sincerest thanks to Kathy Lopez, Jack O'Brien, Rob Rozzi, and all members of the Social Studies Department for the organization of this special event.  Also kudos to Tom Bankert, Ana Morel, and our music students for the beautiful music during the ceremony. And finally I would like to extend my appreciation, on behalf of all of us at Wakefield Memorial High School, to the veterans who enriched our lives with their presence today.  

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