Community gathers to honor local veterans


Every year, all of the performing groups within the Linden area come together for what is arguably the most important holiday of the year for America: Veterans’ Day.  On November 11th, the middle school district choir, the middle school show choir, ACE Show Choir, Chorale, Color Gaurd, and others all come together to honor the country’s veterans in one of the most spectacular annual events that Linden hosts.  Many patriotic songs are sung, including “God Bless America” and “The Spirit of America.”

During one song in particular, “Tribute to the Armed Forces,” the five branches of the military are honored individually, and anyone in the audience is invited to stand up for special recognition when the branch they served in is mentioned.

Each year, veterans come from homes and facilities across the greater Stockton and Lodi to watch and participate in the show.  Lunch is provided for them, and it is a wonderful chance for the next generation of Linden to be able to give back to the community of people who have served this country proudly.

Before the show every year, a display is put on by the Commemorative Air Force Central California Valley Squadron in a vintage WWII aircraft, then the crowd is led into the Multipurpose Room by the San Joaquin County Sea Cadets.

The show ends with an explosion of streamers covering the crowd.

This year’s show was made extra special because one of Linden High’s own faculty members, Robert Chase, wrote a song meant to honor the country after 9/11, which was sung by ACE Show Choir and directed by Chase himself.

The show was a beautiful tribute to all who have served in the military.  Many tears were shed, especially by the director of the show, Ken Kell, who takes pride in the show every year.  As director of ACE Show Choir, he has exclaimed many times that even with the many other shows ACE does every year, this one always remains his favorite.

“Every other show we do is about the kids and their talent,” Kell said.  “This one is different.  It’s about the veterans and the amazing services they have performed for us.”

As the host of the largest veterans’ memorial show within 100 miles, Linden is proud to be part of this amazing country.