Before everyone even arrived, area veterans were being honored at the Veterans Day program in Greenbush on November 12.
The names, photos, and the years of service of area veterans flashed on a screen as Greenbush-Middle River student Elizabeth Gust played patriotic tunes on the piano. United States flags made out of construction paper were taped on the front portion of the stage and one on the front of the podium where all of the speakers would step up to during this program.
After everyone did arrive, the program commenced, honoring these veterans– those having served in the U.S. military and those still serving today– in even more ways.
Following the posting of the colors by the Greenbush and Middle River American Legion, including a drum roll by GMR student John Novacek, GMR Principal Sharon Schultz welcomed everyone to the program. GMR High School student Abigail Wagner then read an invocation– a prayer written by Alden Solovy.
The program also included musical selections by GMR students of various ages, under the direction of GMR music teachers Nick Flattum and Jeanne Novacek. It began with the playing of the National Anthem by the GMR Concert Band. During the playing of this anthem, some of the veterans in the front could be seen standing at attention and touching their hands to their foreheads in salute.
Mrs. Schenkey’s first grade class then placed their hands over their hearts and led everyone in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. GMR students then provided more music– this time the fourth to sixth grade choir’s performance of “Tribute to World War I”, a song medley from the World War I era.
The GMR Concert Band returned to action to perform “The Greatest Generation” by Robert W. Smith. GMR teacher Kent Christian provided the narration in between the music. To hear “The Greatest Generation”, including the narration.
GMR Superintendent Tom Jerome then introduced this year’s Veterans Day program speaker– local Greenbush veteran Felix Korczak. During his speech, Korczak highlighted the various different veterans from Greenbush. He also highlighted the idea that even though Greenbush may be thought by some to be outside mainstream America, the Greenbush veterans who served knew they were Americans and fought for their country, understanding it was the American way. Korczak’s speech drew a standing ovation from all those in attendance. A full transcript of Korczak’s speech is inside the November 14 issue of The Tribune.
Following Korczak’s speech, the GMR High School Choir sang “Tribute to the Armed Forces”. During this piece, the students sang each song of the armed forces. Before the song, director Nick Flattum asked the veterans to stand up when the choir sang the song of the branch of military that they served in, and the veterans did just that. The veterans stood up again when their names were called, as part of the list of veterans GMR teacher Stacy Dahl read.
Behind a curtain, Anissah Novacek played the song “Taps” on her trumpet and the Greenbush and Middle River American Legion retired the colors to a drum roll by GMR student Moses Creekmore, putting an end to another Veterans Day program in Greenbush.