The Pinole Valley High School Marching Band and Concert Choir celebrate Veterans Day at Fernandez Park!

This past Monday, the Pinole Valley High School Marching Band and Concert Choir performed at Fernandez Park in honor of Veterans Day.

The patriotic songs the Pinole Valley High School Marching Band performed in honor of Veterans Day, including The Star-Spangled Banner and Taps by the United States Armed Forces!

The Pinole Valley High School Concert Choir also performed a handful of patriotic songs in honor of Veterans Day, including America the Beautiful and many more!

Additionally, multiple speeches were held at the event in between the performances by Pinole Valley High School’s talented marching band and concert choir! Here are some of those speeches.

The first speech was held by the President of the Pinole Historical Society, Jeff Rubin.

“Good morning, everyone! I’m Jeff Rubin, the President of the Pinole Historical Society. Thank you for attending the 12th annual Veterans Day memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony! We gather here every year on the 11th hour, the 11th day, of the 11th month, to commemorate the signing of the armistice that ended World War I at 11 A.M. on November 11, 1918.

At the time, it was thought this war was the war to end all wars. This year finds the world in more turmoil than we’ve seen in a generation, perhaps not since the onset of the Second World War eighty years ago. My father came back from that war having fought in Italy and in other parts of Europe post-D-Day with severe scars in both legs. Like many veterans of that era, he rarely spoke of his war-time experiences, preferring to look toward a simpler adult life of marriage, family, a steady job, and watching Willie Mays play center field for his New York Giants.

Who knows how many men and women who served in that war suffered from Post-traumatic stress disorder? PTSD was an acronym that didn’t exist back then. Perhaps their silence was an indication? It’s a different world now.

Our military personnel are stationed throughout the globe in dangerous areas, preventing potential attacks on our nation and our freedoms that were unthinkable just a few decades ago. With every passing year, it becomes more important and more urgent to recognize the veterans who have served and are now serving us on active and reserve duty and respect their sacrifices for us and our country!”

The next speech was given by PVHS senior Jaylin Kent!

“Hi, my name is Jaylin Kent and I am a senior at Pinole Valley High School! Veterans Day is a special holiday to me because many of my family members have been in the Armed Forces! Serving the country runs back about 3 generations in my family.

My mom was in the Navy, my grandfather was in the Air Force, and my great-grandfather was in the Coast Guard, so this holiday means that I celebrate some of the most important people in my life! It is an honor to me to be able to say that so many of my family members have dedicated their time to protecting millions of people!

To me, Veterans Day is not only for people who served in the war, but for all of the people who are to serve our country! Whether it’s fighting in the field or monitoring threats through computer screens, each job is important and needed to keep things in order! Everyone in the Armed Forces has a possibility of going to war, so we should celebrate all who have dedicated their time to protecting the United States!

This holiday should also celebrate the families who stay home while their loved ones are gone to fight in the war. It’s a lot to take on the responsibilities, so the families of the Armed Forces should feel proud of their contribution as well! I am thankful for all of those who defend our country and put their lives on the line for us! Veterans Day to me is a celebration of America’s heroes. Thank you!”

One of the original founders of the Pinole Historical Society, George Vincent, also gave a speech of his own!

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen! My name is George Vincent! I am one of the original founders of the Pinole Historical Society. I just wanted to say that for those who are new to Pinole or those who don’t know a lot about Pinole’s history, Pinole has always been a parade town primarily for its veterans who have come home from many foreign wars!

In World War I, the war to end all wars as Jeff Rubin said earlier, that was my father’s generation! Every time we had a parade in Pinole, usually on the 4th of July, we had marching bands in every branch of the Armed Forces and celebrated the veterans who had come home.

As far as World War I goes, I do remember some of those veterans as I was growing up! They suffered from what was called shell shock, which we know today by a different name as PTSD. I remember some of the old-timers, whose lungs had been scarred by mustard gas in the trenches of France.

World War II came and my father, who was a warden at that time, guarded the Pinole bridge behind me here for enemy activity. We lived in a time, that I hope children nowadays will never have to grow up and live in, of fear! I remember the blackouts and air raid sirens and shivering in fear!

I remember very distinctly near the end of the war, my mother drove us down to Richmond and she got into a line at JCPenney. About 2,000 or 3,00o women were in line there. I went to Press’s Five & Dime store up the street and about 5,000 children were in line there!

We got 2 balloons, one red and one blue! I will not forget them because, during the war, all rubber went toward the war effort! My mother was so happy that she got a pair of Nylons because, during the war, all the Nylons went toward making parachutes!”

Following the conclusion of the speeches, the Pinole Valley High School Marching Band and Concert Choir departed from Fernandez Park!