Southport school, community salute veterans
Red, white and blue were the dominant colors of dress, and songs, words and decorations in praise of veterans filled the Southport Town Hall as the town’s school children and staff, as well as community members, held a Veterans Appreciation Night on Wednesday, Nov. 8.
The 40-minute program, organized by Southport Central School’s Meredith Fowlie, Lisa Clarke and others, began with the Boothbay Region Community Band playing patriotic songs as attendees arrived and found their seats.
After the daughters of local U.S. Coast Guardsmen Mike Madden and Josh Young presented the American flag, everyone stood for the playing and singing of the national anthem.
Clarke, SCS principal, welcomed all to the program, expressing words of appreciation to the veterans in the audience and for the work done by Fowlie, the students and others.
The students in attendance then went up on stage, led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance, sang “My Country Tis of Thee” and recited Veteran’s Day poems. The older students read famous patriotic quotes. The final presentation by the students was the singing of a medley of armed services songs.
Guest speaker, the “mayor of Southport,” as introduced by Clarke, Gerry Gamage gave a reflective talk on what Veteran’s Day means, patriotism and more, citing the leadership of several military generals through the country’s many wars, from General George Washington to General Tommy Franks.
“I don’t know how Gerry does it,” said several people after the program, as Gamage impressed the crowd with his talk without the benefit of notes.
Band member Al Roberts recited a poem, “It is the Veteran,” followed by the band playing an armed forces salute, as veterans in the various branches of the military stood and were applauded by all.
The upbeat program ended with the assembled singing of “God Bless America,” followed by the serving of refreshments. Students then stood beside the posters they made to decorate the hall as everyone strolled by to ask them questions and take photos.