PHS/PE honor veterans through singing


Portia Williams | Daily Times Portsmouth High School Show Choir performed under the direction of Emily Smith on Wednesday for a Veterans Day program.


Portia Williams | Daily Times Fourth graders from Portsmouth Elementary, under the direction of Twilight Pack, performed at the Veterans Day Program held at PHS on Wednesday.


By Portia Williams

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There was no speaker, as in the case of most Veterans Day Programs, just the beautiful voices of fourth grade students from Portsmouth Elementary (PE), and The Portsmouth High School Show Choir filling the PHS gymnasium with songs acknowledging veterans for their service and dedication to the United States of America.

PHS Principal, Amy Hughes, opened the Veterans Day Program, introducing Emily Smith, and Twilight Pack, who directed the PHS Show Choir, and fourth graders from PE. Smith said it is vital for today’s students to appreciate the service of our veterans. Smith led the Portsmouth High School Show Choir in the singing of ‘Bring Him Home,’ a song befitting for the Veterans Day event.

“I think it is really important to have our students today understand what it means to be a veteran, and how important it is to honor our veterans on Veterans Day,” Smith said. “We sang ‘Bring Him Home,’ and it is from a musical called, Les Mis, and it is sung by a character that is talking about how one of the men who is going off to war, and the young man that he is talking about loves his daughter, and he wants him to come back home safely. So, Bring HIm Home is actually like a prayer asking for his future son in law to be brought home safely from war.”

The event also included the reading of a list of veterans from the PHS Staff including the following:

Joe Albrecht- National Guard

Drew Applegate -Sgt US Army 82nd Airborne Division

Mark Arms- Air National Guard

Jon Born- Air Force Meteorologists

Ron Davis- Private 1st Class US Army

Randy Nelson- Staff Sgt Air Force

Aaron Polston- Colonel US Army Reserve, Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

Buck Whitley- Sgt US Army 82nd Airborne Division

Tony Lavinder- US Air Force

The traditional tune, ‘Taps,’ was performed by PHS student, Semajah Parker and echoed by Mr. Swintek. The PHS Show Choir was accompanied by Judy Smith. Additionally, a variety of PE Students read expressions of appreciation of veterans in the midst of the songs performed. All veterans present at the program were asked to stand and be acknowledged, and were met with a round of hardy hand-clapping by the audience.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

Portia Williams | Daily Times Portsmouth High School Show Choir performed under the direction of Emily Smith on Wednesday for a Veterans Day program.
http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_P1010009.jpgPortia Williams | Daily Times Portsmouth High School Show Choir performed under the direction of Emily Smith on Wednesday for a Veterans Day program.

Portia Williams | Daily Times Fourth graders from Portsmouth Elementary, under the direction of Twilight Pack, performed at the Veterans Day Program held at PHS on Wednesday.
http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_P1010008.jpgPortia Williams | Daily Times Fourth graders from Portsmouth Elementary, under the direction of Twilight Pack, performed at the Veterans Day Program held at PHS on Wednesday.
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