Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day-2010 in Bellevue, PA

On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour in the year of our Lord 2010, Andrew Bayne Park in the heart of Bellevue, welcomed Veterans and visitors for this annual tribute. The program presented in honor of all military service men and women, living and remembered, was introduced by Bellevue Council president Coder.

Pastor Brown of Northminster Presbyterian Church in the invocation, gave thanks and praise recognizing the enlisted for their service and the sacrifices of our fallen heroes.

In reverence, with hands over hearts, the National Anthem resounded loud and clear for all to hear! Shelby Thomas, a senior at Northgate High School was all that and more in her vocalization of the historic hymn in an extraordinarily moving performance of The Star-Spangled Banner. Tears welled in the eyes of many as the patriotic salute continued.

The highly decorated Veteran Army officer, Hugo Alicandri, who served in Germany during World War II, is a longtime resident of Bellevue renowned for his passionate recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. All joined with him in the salute to the great United States of America.

The traditional Taps, sounded by the U.S. military nightly to signal "lights out" was a live trumpet performance by our own Kassie Lorey, a graduate of Northgate High School and Geneva College.

The second grade classes from Bellevue Elementary, inspired by Ms Tennant-Heffley and her colleagues, Ms Maiette and Ms Scheponik, presented their own written tributes and the rousing choreographed melodies honoring all veterans.

Paul Bingham, representing the 42nd district office of State Senator Wayne Fontana was the keynote speaker. He addressed Bellevue acknowledging the contributions of the service men and women who have served our country.

Shelby Thomas returned to the microphone to lead those present in a soulful rendition of God Bless America!

Reverend Brown returned to the podium and concluded the Veterans' Day memorial tribute in Bayne Park with the Benediction. Refreshments were served as veterans and patriots exchanged pleasantries in the sun-filled park.

The entire student body of Assumption Grade School were assembled at 1pm in McGovern Hall where each of the grades K through 8 presented their special tribute to Veterans, family and friends. Ms Miller, principal of Assumption School, coordinated the enthusiastic efforts of the students, teachers and volunteers in this memorable and educational salute to Veterans.

The program began with an invitation for all Veterans to stand and be recognized. Red and blue ingredients poured into a container were sprinkled with white and stirred gently to bring forth "Old Glory" raised high for all to see!

Students recited poems and participated in song taking their places on the stage in a formation of the red, white and blue. Uncle Sam made a brief appearance. A Color Guard led the parade of flags which were ushered forth as Mr Bell, who teaches the 6-8 grade Social Studies, as well as Spanish and Math courses, provided a brief history of each one of the branches of the US armed forces. Traditional military songs including the Marine's "Halls of Montezuma," the Army's "Caisson Go Rolling Along" and the Air Force "Wild Blue Yonder" were performed with gusto! The American flag was presented and students revealed letters spelling out God Bless America. Students donned special red,white and blue glasses for the gleeful inclusive rendition of "You Are My Sunshine."

US history became clear through an introduction of the 1492 Christopher Columbus crossing of the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria. The Pony Express rode in and General George Washington arrived on the scene. The all hands-raised conclusion brought energized applause from all!

Refreshments were served and enjoyed by all. We are all most grateful to all the military men and women who have served this great nation to ensure the freedoms we all cherish. Today and everyday, may you accept our thanks and heart-felt appreciation for your commitment to our country!

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