Commemorating Patriots at “The Home of the Patriots”


Photograph by Marva Shi

Veterans receive flowers as thanks for their service at Beckman’s Annual Veterans Day Concert.

Ivanna Tjitra, Staff Writer

IRVINE – On Thursday, Nov. 9, Beckman High School’s Patriot Marching Band performed at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) for their annual Veterans Day Concert with the Tustin American Legion Post 227.


The Veterans Day Concert is an ongoing tradition beginning at Beckman’s opening in 2004. The concert’s concept is inspired by the NBC radio show, “The Navy Hour,” that aired in 1945. To honor the iconic radio show, the Veterans Day Concert’s theme is “Remembering the Navy Hour.” During the concert, excerpts of the radio announcers played between songs. The Patriot Marching Band performed iconic songs from the radio show as well.


Mr. Kollias, the Marching Band Director, made an opening speech before the concert commenced. During his speech, he explained some Beckman music program traditions. “This is the one time in the year when it is not about us, this is completely for our veterans and our community,” said Kollias. “I think we have got at least one tradition here at Beckman High School, and that is our Veterans Day Concert because that is actually our first sit-down concert we did here at Beckman High School back in 2004, and we have been doing this ever since.”


The concert also featured the Tustin American Legion Post 227. The members of the Post were veterans from different backgrounds and military branches. They had the honor to Post the Colors at the beginning of the concert and enact the Retiring of the Colors at the end. During intermission, Mr. Kollias asked veterans to stand up and be recognized for their dedication.


Sophomore and flutist, Natalie Chan, enjoyed performing and listening as veterans shared their experiences. “It is amazing to hear about the various wars and periods in which the veterans served, and it truly helps us connect with our community by learning of the service and dedication that these men and women put in,” said Chan. “It is [also] incredibly empowering to see women who have served and fought, which inspires us all to defy biases and obstacles.”


Freshman Marie Bong attended the Veterans Day Concert and found it a memorable experience. “It is important to commemorate veterans because they truly put in so much work and self-sacrifice for our country,” said Bong. “The concert is a good way to commemorate and connect with veterans because it gives us an open road to be able to thank them in person as well as be reminded of the things they have done for this country.”


The Veterans Day Concert gave students and family members the opportunity to personally thank and connect with veterans who attended the concert. As said by Mr. Kollias, “There are only two types of people in the world: those who served and those who should just simply say, ‘thank you.’” At the end of the entire concert, the Marching Band Boosters provided snacks and drinks for the performers, parents, and veterans.


Beckman High’s Veterans Day Concert will be hosted again next year. The Tustin American Legion Post 227 will also be invited to honor those who served or are serving in the military.