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John Glenn Holds Second Memorial Day Celebration With Marine Corps

Pictured: The awe-inspiring Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon performed at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School’s Memorial Day celebration on May 23.

Photo courtesy of Elwood School District

For the second consecutive year, the visiting U.S. Marine Corps starred in a moving Memorial Day celebration at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School. Rainy skies may have prevented a highly anticipated helicopter landing, but failed to dampen the morning’s patriotic feelings or the excitement of the Marines’ performances. The May 23 all-school assembly at the school’s football field, which coincided with Fleet Week, featured performances by John Glenn’s music ensembles, the awe-inspiring Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and the crowd-pleasing Marine Corps Marching Band, the oldest continuously active professional musical organization in the country. Numerous veterans and active military personnel within the Elwood community were in the audience, earning standing ovations from the attending students, staff and board of education members and socializing with the current Marines.

“On Memorial Day, we recognize and remember all of our heroic service men and women who offer the supreme sacrifice for our country and for the principles of our democracy,” Principal Corey McNamara said. “Specifically, today, we would like to remember those from the Elwood community. It is for their service and sacrifice that we dedicate today’s ceremony. We not only remember you this Memorial Day and Memorial Day weekend, but every day. Finally, I would like to recognize our veterans and active community members in attendance for their service and steadfast dedication to our freedom, our democracy and our safety.”

“It is an incredible honor for our school district to host the United States Marine Corps as we pay tribute to and remember the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” Superintendent Kelly Fallon said. “Their bravery, courage, selflessness and sacrifice have ensured that we can live in a land of liberty and opportunity. As we enjoy the freedoms of this great nation, let us never forget the price that has been paid for them. Let us honor the memory of those who have fallen by living our lives in a way that honors their sacrifices. Let us strive to be worthy of the freedoms that have been sacrificed for us performing. For those who are with us today in uniform or have worn it in the past, thank you for the sacrifices that you have made to each and every one of us and our entire nation.”

“As we reflect on the significance of Memorial Day, we are reminded of the profound impact that these courageous individuals have had on our nation,” Board of Education President James Tomeo said. “Their selfless dedication and unwavering commitment to upholding the values and freedoms that we hold dear serve as a testament to the true spirit of patriotism. It’s important to remember that Memorial Day is not just a day off from school and work, or a time for barbecues and celebrations, it’s a solemn occasion to honor the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in defense of our nation. It is a time to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy and the price that has been paid for us to do so. So, let’s pause to remember and honor the fallen, to pay our respects to the families and to reaffirm our commitment to upholding the ideals that they fought for and died for. May we never forget their sacrifice and always strive to be worthy of the legacy that they left behind for us.”

“John Glenn is a hero among many in the United States Marine Corps,” said U.S. Marine Corps Major Dennis Graziosi, the commanding officer of Recruiting Station New York. “He served in two wars. He flew 59 combat missions and 149 total missions. His plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. Think of that for a minute – flying through the air at an incredible rate of speed while taking fire and having to pursue and continue on with the mission. After his service in the Marine Corps, John Glenn continued to have a tremendous impact on this country. He served as an astronaut and became the first American to orbit in space. He finished his illustrious career in politics, serving as a United States senator. What an extremely remarkable life and impact on the United States that John Glenn had. But we are also here today to honor and show appreciation to you guys, the students of John Glenn High School. You are the future leaders in our community and our country. I’d like to say congratulations to all of you, and a special congratulations to the graduating Class of 2024.”

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