By Alex Malm
The school district and the Town of Londonderry combined efforts again this year for the annual Thank You Veterans Day Breakfast. The event was held on Friday morning, Nov. 10, at the Londonderry High School cafeteria and featured breakfast, guest speakers, military themed music, and gift baskets presented to the attending veterans.
Those attending were invited by phone call made by the high school’s Pay it Forward group, and organized by LHS Assistant Principal, Katie Sullivan.
The “Patriotic Salute to Our American Heroes” is organized each year by Sullivan, along with her Pay It Forward group.
The Londonderry High School Dance Team welcomed veterans at the entrance with cheers.
The breakfast began with socializing and music, performed by Dylan Anderson during the buffet style breakfast prepared by our LHS Dining Services.
LHS students, Sammie Sullivan and Sean Connors, welcomed all the veterans and their guests, before former U.S. Senator, Kelly Ayotte, lead in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The event’s Guest Speaker was the newly appointed Londonderry Fire Chief, Bo Butler. He spoke of how much the town of Londonderry has given to him and his family and the time he spent in Afghanistan as a member of the U.S. Army.
The LHS Symphonic Band, directed by Serge Beaulieu and Emily Dawson, followed the speaker by playing the National Anthem, America the Beautiful, and an Armed Forces Salute. The band played the Coast Guard’s – Semper Paratus; the Air Force – The U.S. Air Force; the Navy’s – Anchors Aweigh; the Marine’s – The Marines’ Hymn and the U.S. Army’s – The Caisson Song.
The segment ended with “God Bless the USA,” with each being sung by Joey Cain.
Each of Londonderry’s Elementary School’s Student Council had speakers thanking veterans for their service.
The Blue Star Lancers student speakers also took the stage. Jack Griffin, Asher Comtois, and Natalie Howard also thanked those attending.
Following that, LHS student singers, Joey Cain and Kelly Egan, performed a Medley of patriotic songs.
In Lieu of not having a parade or service at the Town Common again this year, Londonderry American Legion Post 27 Commander, Bob Stuart, spoke about service and the need to get more veterans involved at the Post. He then introduced Brigadier General (MA) Retired, Matthew Kennedy, as the Veterans Day Guest Speaker.
Kennedy spoke on the significance of Veterans Day, originally named Armistice Day, the day that marked the end of WWI.
He asked everyone to reflect on the day and devote themselves with dedication and hope.
He also stressed his love for his military service and all it had taught him.
Following that, Gift Card Raffle items were handed out by the Pay It Forward members to those still at their tables.
The gift cards were donated by the Londonderry School District staff, clubs, teams, teachers and students, Londonderry community members, organizations and businesses, the Londonderry Legion, and local community families, friends, and citizens.
Closing Remarks were then made by LHS Pay It Forward Advisor & Assistant Principal, Katie Sullivan.