By John Doyle firstname.lastname@example.org Nov 2, 2018
For all 77 photos got to: photoshttp://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20181102/marshwood-students-honor-vets
“Sometimes this flag is hated,” Bourbon said. “And I would say, ‘They hate us ‘cause they ain’t us.’ Because this right here means everything that everybody would ever want. Maybe it’s just like some of the Boston and New England sports teams, that when you’re not a part of our teams you really don’t like us. But once you become a part of us, you love us. And you’re all about us.”
Bourbon’s comments came at the close of a two-hour ceremony, which featured music, slideshows, video presentations and speeches honoring military veterans and first responders, a number of whom were in the front rows. This year’s ceremony was held well ahead of Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
“I often think about what it truly represents,” Bourbon said, continuing his speech about the flag. “You talk about this banner waving and blowing in the wind. And if you’re very, very, very quiet, you can hear what is says — can you hear it? It does say freedom, liberty and love and respect and honor and integrity. Do you hear that? I hear it. I hear it every single day. I see it every single time I look at it. Thank God we have this banner.”
Superintendent Dr. Mary Nash welcomed the students and gathered honorees to the 18th annual ceremony.
“What an amazing day this is,” Nash said. “Each year, I think, this celebration just can’t get any better than this. And it does. It’s amazing.”
Nash said Marshwood Middle School is the first middle school in Maine to be granted a special POW-MIA chair, which remains perpetually empty to remind all that “even though our soldiers are not here, there is still a place for them.”
Nash introduced veteran Wallace Berg, who Nash said served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and he received a rousing standing ovation.
“Fantastic, absolutely fantastic,” said Berg, who lives in Portsmouth. “Seeing all these young people, it makes you feel good inside.”
Sixth-grade students shared reflections. Jake Bailey said he’s thankful for veterans because without them “there would be no one to fight for our freedom.”
“I’m thankful for veterans who fought for our freedoms and rights,” Bailey said. “I’m not only thankful for military, but for police, firefighters and EMTs. They have always been out there to help us.”
There were three main musical performances. The seventh- and eighth-grade chorus performed “America the Beautiful.” A trio of students — Brynn Butler, Chloe Walker and Elaine Doran — sang “Dress Blues.” The sixth-grade chorus performed “I Ask for One Day.”