2nd Annual Field of Honor Ceremony Salutes Veterans
In a patriotic spectacle of red, white, and blue, Oyster Bay High School conducted it second annual Veterans Day Field of Honor ceremony to pay tribute to those who serve and continue to serve our country.
Students and staff gathered on the front lawn where the Field of Honor — a collection of American flags purchased by students, staff and the community — was erected by the Interact Club and turned their attention to the front of the school. Seated there were 30 veterans from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, and AMVets association, as well as guest speaker Dr. Michael Castellano, a veteran and a Board of Education trustee, and Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District staff members who served in the military, including social studies teacher Mr. Robert Browne, security guard Mr. Patrick Kelly and French teacher Mr. Patrick Heusner.
“We are here today to honor and remember our local heroes who have touched countless lives in so many ways,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Christopher Elsesser, in his welcoming remarks. He then introduced the high school Wind Ensemble, under the baton of music teacher Mr. Matthew Sisia, which performed the National Anthem.
Mr. Elsesser shared with the audience the history of the three veteran organizations that were represented at the ceremony and Social Studies Supervisor Mr. Joseph Pesqueira, who advises the Interact Club with social studies teacher Ms. Lauren Harnick, read some of the messages that were on the flags in the Field of Honor, such as “All gave some, some gave all. Thank you for your service.”
The podium was then turned over to guest speaker Dr. Castellano, who said, “As a veteran I think of all veterans who served our country and wore the uniform and made a commitment to defend our freedoms that those around the world envy today. My thoughts go to those men and women who endured much greater hardships than I did in my service and the many who faced greater challenges after they left the military and took off their uniforms. I am proud to have served our country in the military. There is this invisible thread that bonds all veterans together that we all share, and when you see a veteran in the workplace or in your community, you feel that bond, even though it is unspoken.”
During the playing of “Taps” by the Wind Ensemble, Mr. Browne, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Heusner followed a roped off path from the dais to the Field of Honor and unveiled a red, white and blue wreath displayed in commemoration of our service men and women. The Field of Honor will be displayed until Nov. 23. Flags may still be purchased for $10 by contacting Mr. Pesqueira at 624-6542 or by emailing him at JPesqueira@obenschools.org. Proceeds from the flags will be donated to the VFW.
The Field of Honor at Oyster Bay High School featured flags with messages of gratitude to our military and veterans.
Local veterans are honored at the Oyster Bay High School’s second annual Field of Honor ceremony.
The Oyster Bay High School Wind Ensemble, led by music teacher Mr. Matt Sisia, performs The Star Spangled Banner.
Guest speaker Dr. Michael Castellano shares his thoughts as a veteran as Social Studies Supervisor Mr. Joseph Pesqueira and Assistant Principal Christopher Elsesser look on.
Staff members who served in the military unveil a wreath to commemorate those who served and continue to serve our country.