Perdido welcomes NAS Pensacola officer as guest speakerPublished 9:03am Wednesday, November 13, 2013
About 100 veterans and their family members attended the annual “Salute to Veterans,” held at Perdido Elementary/Middle School on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The annual event began with veterans and their guests being greeted at their cars and assisted, by the members of Perdido’s football team. Once they reached the front of the gym, Pre-K and kindergarten students and cheerleaders welcomed them with cheers, flags, pom-poms and pin-wheels.
Members of Alabama’s Patriot Guard stood at attention as all of the guests entered. Several residents of the William Green Veterans Home in Bay Minette also attended, as did Alabama State Representatives Alan Baker and Harry Shiver.
Once everyone entered, the Baldwin County High School’s JROTC presented the colors. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Perdido Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, Mason Smith, J.T. Clay, Jackson Reid, Blayne Pomeroy, Peyton Watson, Bryant Langele, Damian Singleton, Jonathon Hadley, Brady Crawford and Nathan Reid. This was followed by former Perdido student, Abby Akins, singing the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Everyone was welcomed by new PEMS principal, Philip Stewart. Stewart introduced Sydney Stewart, who was the school’s first place winner in the Patriot’s Pen Essay contest. She shared her winning essay on what “Patriotism Means to Me”. Next, the Perdido band, including some former students who are now a part of the Baldwin County High School band, performed “God Bless America.”
BCHS principal Craig Smith then introduced the guest speaker, Lt Col. Gabriel Fabbri USMC. Fabbri is currently the Operations Officer of MATSG-21 at NAS Pensacola.
A special musical presentation was performed by Perdido teachers; Trachy Miller and Suzanne Akins-Noguera, and former student Abby Akins. They sang “America the Beautiful,” and were accompanied by Mrs. Noguera on the keyboard.
Stewart then introduced student, John David Neutze, second place winner in the essay completion sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who shared his essay on “What Patriotism Means to Me.”
A special presentation was made by Gerri McDonald, to the students, faculty and staff at Perdido. They were recognized for raising funds to send eight World War II veterans to Washington D.C., with a commemorative picture from Dr. Barry Booth coordinator of the South Alabama Honor Flight program. The picture contains 3642 pictures of all of the World War II veterans who traveled to Washington D.C., over the American flag that flies over Battleship Parkway in Mobile.
Closing remarks were given by Principal Stewart, and were followed by the playing of “TAPS” by former Perdido student, Bethany Presley.