Honoring military service through Veterans Day assemblies

There wasn’t a dry eye in the Watt-Baker Gymnasium as senior Chris Bianchi left the podium following his Veterans Day address during the annual Middle and Upper School Veterans Day Program on Friday, Nov. 7. The Norfolk Collegiate family gathered to honor those men and women during two Veterans Day programs – one at the Middle and Upper School and the other at the Lower School.

Middle & Upper School program
Chris is the son of Cmdr. Kevin Bianchi, who was killed in action when Chris was a boy. The son of a long line of military family members, Chris spoke of his childhood and the importance of our service men and women, in particular of his family.

“You need to know the reality of serving in the military,” Chris said. “Every day can be a risk and it’s all to protect this country. Show these men and women your thanks. You do not know how much I want to thank my father for his service. I never did thank him. If I could get him back for just one more time, I would do two things: Thank him and dance with him one more time.”
In a surprise presentation, Chris also learned that he had been accepted to the United States Naval Academy to continue his family's tradition of military service.
In addition to the remarks by Chris, the program also included patriotic music by the Upper School Band and A capella group, the reading of names of service members and veterans close to the Norfolk Collegiate community, and a slideshow tribute to our veterans by junior Darden Purrington, president of the Future Military Leaders Club. 



Lower School program

Many students wore red, white and blue, and showed their support to local service members returning home from deployment by collecting supplies this past week for their Toiletries and Treats Supply Drive.  In partnership with the USO of Hampton Roads, this is the second year that Norfolk Collegiate Lower School participated in this show of support. The week of donations concluded with a special patriotic assembly with the playing of "Taps" by two students on the recorder, and remarks by Navy Lt. Kevin O'Brien, Norfolk Collegiate parent, and USO representatives.