The sun was shining down on a beautiful La Verne day as the youth of the Bonita Unified School District sang praises for the men and women of the armed forces.
Saturday afternoon the City of La Verne, the Bonita Unified School District,the Chamber of Commerce and the VFW Post 12034 partnered together to host the First La Verne Armed Forces Day Concert at the Glenn Davis Stadium.
“This was a great way to give back and remember the commitment and sacrifice veterans made,” Todd Helm, choral director for Bonita High School and Magnolia Middle School said. “And it was for our benefit.”
The Elementary School Honor Choirs began the program.
The honor choirs are made up of students from eight elementary schools within the Bonita Unified School District.
These young children sang for the crowd of parents, city and school officials and veterans.
These young performers dazzled the crowd with their ability and enthusiasm on the hot day.
The Ramona Jazz Band wowed the audience with their rendition of “American Patrol.”
The song was written in the late 1800s and later was made popular in the 1940s by Glenn Miller and his band.
“Taps” played by bugler Roger Morrie Post 12034, Air Force La Verne and Eddie Solis Post 184 Casablanca VFW Riverside Marines, was a somber moment of the program.
This was the time to recognize all the La Verne men and women who gave their lives while serving in the armed forces.
“This event shows that the community is helping veterans,” John Melendrez, VFW sixth district commander said. “We must support vets today.”
All the performers including the Bonita High School Symphonic Band and Chamber Singers did not rehearse the program prior to the event.
Lack of rehearsal time was not a factor for these young singers and musicians.
The program went off with out a hitch.
“Everyone did a great job,” Helm said. “The students are used to performing and are very professional when it comes down to it.”
The planning for the armed forces celebration began last fall.
The main focus of the event was to raise funds for a veterans’ memorial.
“The memorial will be at Veterans Hall on Wheeler and Bonita,” Dan Harden, Judge Advocate of the VFW Post 12034 said. “It’s also a great opportunity for the kids to perform.”
This event was the first of many to be held in order to raise the necessary funds for the memorial.
“The memorial should begin construction in about a year,” Don Kendrick, mayor of La Verne, said. “And will cost any where from $35,000 to $40,000.”
“America the Beautiful” was the perfect song to send the audience on their way to the rest of their day.
The song and concert was a beautiful tribute to all those who are fighting, have fought or have lost lives to preserve the freedom of our beautiful nation.
“This is a wonderful event, just wish there were more people here,” Kendrick said.
Rachel Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.