Monday, March 21, 2011

Meeting Heroes

Yesterday we headed further up north to Fairfield, Maine, to perform a Sunday afternoon matinee at Lawrence High School. We had a great time performing for everyone in attendance, including a very special guest.  Albert Poissonnier joined us today for the concert. He served in the Navy during World War II aboard USS Callaghan (DD-792), a Fletcher-class destroyer. On July 28, 1945, Albert and his shipmates were stationed in the pacific protecting a line of radar ships.

The ship was attacked by a kamikaze pilot and the plane struck the engine room.  The destroyer flooded and, because of fires burning in the water from ammunition, no nearby ships could quickly render aid. The destroyer sank at 0235 and though 47 Sailors lost their lives, Albert Poissonnier survived the attack in the water and helped rescue many of his shipmates. He is a true hero and we were privileged to have him join us at our concert.

One of the most enjoyable parts of being able to perform all over the country is getting to meet veterans like Mr. Poissonnier and hear about the experiences from their time in the Navy. It is a great honor to be able to give something back to those that served our country so remarkably.

Musician 1st Class Jeremy Buckler plays trombone in the Concert Band.

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