JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - While Veterans Day is just over three weeks away, one Region 8 school brought a powerful message to life through music Sunday, paying tribute to our Veterans.
The Jonesboro High School Marching Band picked up their instruments this afternoon to express a larger than life performance to the men and women in uniform.
"It's just a lot of neat American stories and lessons to be taught and just happens we're a band doing it," says Band Director Steve Warner.
It's "The Greatest Generation" a program paying tribute to those that have served and are currently serving. "It's great to share this with the community and to share it with these Veteran, all of our Veterans, but to pay a special tribute to our greatest generation our WWII Veterans. I'm real proud to do this," says Warner.
Nearly 40 WWII Veterans attended the event, each recognized and honored with medallions. The stadium was packed, even members of the 875th battalion were in attendance.
"The whole show is a war theme you'll hear all kinds of emotions from war and fear to sadness and grief and finally to victory," Warner explains. The drum line, color guard, and drum majors were all dressed to match the theme, with posters symbolizing different times in history.
"My grandfather is a Veteran," says Heather Mashburn, who plays the piccolo in the JHS Band. She says each member wears a set of dog tags under their uniform. "I have one that has my name and the number of years I've served in the JHS band and this one has his name it's Woodrow Wilson Tipton and the years he's served in the Navy," Mashburn says.
During the performance, a 50-foot American flag extended across the field, and ended with a dramatic climax. "The final scene is at a memorial cemetery. The students are all saluting, praying and then the flags have changed in uniform into all white and they become living crosses," says Warner
It was a show meaningful to all veterans in attendance. "My grandson is here. He plays in the band and he is proud of me," says Carl Mosby, who was in the U.S. Army for 22 years.
"Personally I think it's an honor to do it. All of the veterans need to be thanked for going and serving our country and especially the WWII veterans because they are just about gone," says Mosby.
The performance had the crowd on their feet. Band Director Steve Warner says the show is more than just music, but a way to teach the younger generation about the sacrifices Veterans have made for our country.