To the editor:
Last evening, I attended this annual event at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.
Pride & Patriotism of Lee County is a partnership between Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee Public Schools, Cape Coral Charter Schools, Lee Charter Schools and veteran organizations of Lee County. Their mission is: Youth Celebrating the Arts and Honoring Veterans.
This was the 10th annual event and showcased students and their patriotic thoughts and talents musically, poetically and visually together with honoring our veterans.
The theme this year was World War II veterans. Their opening was an outstanding presentation by Don Tallon, a POW from World War II. His was a very informative and moving presentation about the history and significance of the "Missing Man Table."
Another interesting story came from the Rev. Randy Moody, who delivered the invocation. Prior to the prayer, he reported he had received a call from a family member of John Hawk on Monday who reported he had passed away the day before. The Rev. Moody was astounded there was no mention by local media of his passing Sgt. Hawk was a recipient of the CMOH. See his citation at www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/2783/hawk-john-d.php.
The remainder of the program consisted of beautiful music performed by the Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, an interesting story and tribute to the World War II veterans in attendance by Jack Wagner, and the award presentations by volunteer veterans to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each of the three categories (poetry, art and mini-documentaries) divided into groups by grade; K2nd, 3rd5th, 6th8th, etc. All of winners were impressive, especially the youngest ones. Each of them obviously put a great deal of effort and thought (and, perhaps some help from their parents) and it showed.
One of the final performances of the evening was a the rousing rendition of the "Armed Forces Salute" performed by the North Fort Myers High School Band followed by presentation of flags for the five military branches by the Lexington Veterans Association Honor Guard.
Given they are a non-profit and depend on sponsors and donations from groups and individuals, they would appreciate a donation. If you are so inclined, you may donate to:
Pride and Patriotism of Lee County
P.O. Box 150702
Cape Coral, FL 33915-0702
Proudly paying back,
Veteran's Service Officer/Commander
Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- James D. Rader - Chapter 108