Manchester's Memorial High School pays fitting tribute for holiday
Memorial High School graduate Michael Fiala participates in Tuesday's Memorial Day cermony at his alma mater. (MARK HAYWARD /UNION LEADER)
Nine facsimile coffins form the centerpiece of the Memorial Day celebration Tuesday at Memorial High School. (MARK HAYWARD/UNION LEADER)
School choirs whose voices showcase the beauty in "America the Beautiful."
A video showing soldier-dads getting tearful embraces from surprised school-age daughters, and hillsides of white crosses bedecked with small flags, where daughters can only cry alone.
The school is named in honor of military men and women who have died in service to their country. Special guests included Rita Schunemann, the mother of a Memorial High graduate who died in Vietnam, and Ann Chouinard, whose son, Memorial graduate and Navy reservist James Dixon, died in an automobile accident last year.
"My kids have taught me the great lesson that everyone should learn — the little things in life are the best things in life," Chouinard said during the assembly.
The school waited to hold it the day after Memorial Day so it would not conflict with announcements and assemblies leading up to the senior prom.
Other highlights included choral renditions of the "The Star Spangled Banner" and "In Flanders Fields," a color guard, and recognition of Michael Ouellette, a Memorial grad and Marine who died in Afghanistan in 2009.
"Right now, I'm a basket case," said the bugler, Jim Cavatis, a 1966 Memorial graduate who attended school with several Memorial grads who died in Vietnam. He grew up four houses away from one, Wilfred Robillard.
Adamakos said the assembly is not designed to encourage military service, but to recognize that the school is named as a memorial to the nation's war dead. He noted that nearly every student has a family member or friend who has served in the military.
"Especially for those who have brothers, sisters or friends who are currently serving," he said. "Until everybody's out (of Afghanistan), it will still be on peoples' minds."
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