Coming from a military family herself, Dedham Middle School Principal, Debra Gately, announced to the full house in her auditorium, that “this assembly (in celebration of Veterans Day) was a time-honored tradition here at the school…”
The hour long event certainly had it's share of pomp and circumstance, including a roomful of local dignitaries and honored guests.
Spotted in the crowd, alongside her 600 plus students, was State Senator Mike Rush (D-West Roxbury), himself a veteran of the United States Navy – Dedham's Superintendent of Schools, June Doe – Asst. Superintendent, Cynthia Kelly – Town Administrator, William Keegan – Police Chief, Michael D'Entremont – Dedham's Veterans Service Officer, Bill Aitken – and a host of others.
After a formal Posting of our Colors, DMS Band Director Jeff Daniels (with the full school band) and DMS Chorus Director Jeff Taylor (with the full school chorus) took to the stage to perform a musical/vocal duet of the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful.
8th grade Student Council Representatives read pieces on the Importance of Veterans Day, before Vietnam Veteran, 1stLieutenant Robert Lothrop (Ret. – US Army) spoke to the crowd. Father of DMS Foreign Language teacher, Maureen Magnan, Lothrop presented a slide show of his tour of duty in Vietnam, and told the students to “always respect the freedoms that you have…”
Former USAF Sgt. Michael Monaghan was on hand to oversee and explain the official Flag Folding Ceremony, followed by a flawless version of Taps, played by 8th grade student Dylan Leonard on his trumpet.
After thanking all those in attendance, William Keegan and Bill Aitken joined six Student Council Representatives, in placing a wreath at the statue at the corner of High St. and Whiting Ave. The 6th, 7th , and 8th grade students returned to classes – more aware and more thankful for the job of those that serve in our Armed Forces.