Field of Honor
The flags seemed to billow in time to the military anthems, snapping and waving as John Jay High School’s Band, conducted by Jared Henderson, performed a medley of the official songs of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The crisp rows of flags and stirring music were part of the Field of Honor—the school’s Veterans Day ceremony, hosted by the JJ4Vets club, which took place on the school’s front lawn on November 10. As portions of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines anthems were played, veterans in attendance from that branch of the military stood to be recognized.
John Jay High School's Band
Guest of honor Henry Niell
Unity was the Theme
After JJ4Vets co-presidents Will Matthews and Grant Vialardi welcomed those gathered, Dr. Siciliano, principal of John Jay, spoke to the unity of the armed forces. “In harm’s way especially, no one cared if their buddy was a Democrat or a Republican, all they had was each other.”
Henry Niell, the security greeter at John Jay and the Guest of Honor, echoed that message with the unity he sees at John Jay High School. “I hope we all understand how fortunate we are to be here,” said Niell, describing the school’s diverse cultures and backgrounds as a community of respect.
A tribute to John Jay's Alumni Killed in Action
John Lemke, the Chair of the Town of Lewisboro’s Veterans Advisory Committee, brought the message of Veterans Day even closer to home for the students. He highlighted the alumni of John Jay High School who were killed in action during the Vietnam War and in Beirut, Lebanon—one, just months after his graduation. JJ4Vets co-president Grant Vialardi researched their stories this past year; he also led the fund raising for the commemorative stone for the six veterans that would be dedicated at the Lewisboro Townhouse on Veterans Day.
The ceremony closed with music the flags could march to—John Philip Sousa’s "The Stars and Stripes Forever."