Medomak Middle School holds annual Veterans Day assembly

By Christine Simmonds | Nov 11, 2019
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Teacher Jennifer Lee leads students in the flag folding ceremony at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8.

Waldoboro — Medomak Middle School hosted its 12th annual Veterans Day Assembly on Friday afternoon, Nov. 8.

Art teacher Libbie Winslow and her seventh and eighth grade students decorated the hallways and the cafetorium with red, white and blue as well as stars and stripes for the event. Students greeted guests and handed out colorful programs, which were designed by students Alyssa Ciasullo, Porter Gahagan, Madison Holmes and Sara Nelson.

The assembly began with the MMS Band, directed by Julie Sanborn, performing a stirring rendition of “The Tempest.” The Waldoboro American Legion and VFW posted the colors, followed by the pledge of allegiance led by Taylor Gerlack and Ella Hathaway of Girl Scout Troop #1807.

Christopher Harris then performed “Star Spangled Banner” on the saxophone while everyone stood to show respect. Principal Kate Race extended a warm welcome to the room.

McKinlee McFarland read a portion of “Setting the Place,” describing the Missing Man Table. This is the tradition of setting an empty place at the dinner table to honor those missing and killed in action while serving in the military. The reading of this piece is a long established tradition at the MMS Veterans’ Day Assembly.

After the reading, Lorraine Knight honored audience members who had served, and students handed out red carnation flowers to thank the veterans for their service.

Senator Susan Collins sent a video and a flag that had flown over the capital building. In the video she spoke about veterans and those currently serving, and thanked the school for hosting this special event.

Next in the program were two readings. Qiana Lalli read “A Soldier Known But to God,” and Lilliana Christ read the poem “In Flanders Fields.”

Each year as part of the assembly the school holds a Patriot’s Pen Essay contest. This year the theme was “What Makes America Great,” and the selected essays were written and read by Eliana Gross, Olivia Pelkey, Keylee Kurr, Micaela Lorentzen and Stephen Talbot. Each student introduced the next at the conclusion of their reading.

Julie Sanborn directed the MMS Chorus as they performed “A Tribute to the Armed Forces,” a collection of military songs. The chorus named the different branches of the armed service that matched the songs as they performed.

Four veterans were on the stage: Brian Abbott, Neil Lash, Jeremy Gourde and Bill Pierce. Each veteran was the family member of a student at MMS, and the students read their biographies: Sam Thornton read Brian Abbott’s, Gabe Lash read Neil Lash’s, Hunter Gourde read Jeremy Gourde’s, and Austin Whitney read Bill Pierce’s.

Senator Angus King also sent a video for the school to play during the assembly, thanking the school for holding the event and talking about the importance of Veterans’ Day.

Sergeant Calvin Wilson then spoke about his experience in the military. Sgt. Wilson recently retired from the Army and the Reserves. He had a special message for his wife and son who were both in the audience, and he honored other family members of those who had served by asking them to stand.

Connor Leach read a portion of Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” Karen Gardiner then read “The Story of Taps,” followed by a touching performance of “Taps” by Luis Cordero on trumpet.

Teacher Jennifer Lee led students Angel Frierson, Mya Hall, Ethan Moody, Krow Quimby, Jaiden Seavey and Liam Winchenbach in a flag folding ceremony, while Elizabeth Harriman and Adrianna Roman read about the meaning of each fold. The flag was then presented to veteran and teacher at Medomak Valley High School for over 50 years, Neil Lash. Lash was clearly very surprised and moved by the honor.

The 12th annual MMS Veterans’ Day assembly finished with the retiring of the colors by the Waldoboro American Legion and VFW, and closing remarks by Kate Race.

Christopher Harris performs "Star Spangled Banner" on the saxophone at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Eliana Gross reads her essay on the topic "What Makes America Great" at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Olivia Pelkey reads her essay on the topic "What Makes America Great" at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Kaylee Kurr reads her essay on the topic "What Makes America Great" at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Micaela Lorentzen reads her essay on the topic "What Makes America Great" at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Stephen Talbot reads his essay on the topic "What Makes America Great" at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
From left: Local veterans Brian Abbott, Neil Lash, Jeremy Gourde and Brian Abbott sit on the stage at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Luis Cordero performs "Taps" on the trumpet at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Jeremy Gourde embraces his son Hunter Gourde after the student read his father's military biography at the 12th annual Veterans' Day assembly at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro on Nov. 8. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Prock Marine Company | Nov 12, 2019 08:07

Medomak Middle School rocks!  I’m so proud the Veterans Day tradition continues. It really is a model for other schools to heed. The art work is an incredible backdrop to the wonderful program. Thank you for honoring our country and its veterans.     ~CindyBrooksProck



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