HARRISON, N.Y. The Harrison High School band officially closed its fundraising Field of Honor with a sunset ceremony Friday night on the front lawn of the school.
The band placed flags on the lawn, each representing a member of the U.S. military, past or present, living or deceased. Each flag was sponsored, and the money will be used to help finance the band's trip to Hawaii to march in the 50th anniversary parade honoring the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
Band Co-Director Charlie Briem said that, over the past two months, the Field of Honor grew from fewer than 30 flags to more than 270.
"It's been such a joy to see the field come together over the past two months," Briem said. "Now it is time to move forward. Like the soldiers the flags represent, the band has a calling. We were chosen as one of the best 15 bands in the country. That is a big responsibility."
Briem said that the band members need to get themselves mentally prepared for the parade, adding that the soliders that the flags represent were frightened and felt alone in addition to being shot at. "We now have a responsibility to represent them," he said.
Assemblyman Robert Castelli, a Vietnam veteran, said that it is not only a duty but a privilege to answer the calling of your country. Castelli said the current soldiers, like generation previous, have had the torch passed to them.
"We have had people make the ultimate sacrifice and we wouldn't have the great nation we have if it wasn't for them," Castelli said.
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