Patriotic music filled the room during the JASA Starrett Senior Center’s Veterans Day celebration on November 6.
More than 50 Spring Creek Towers (SCT) seniors and invited guests joined JASA and the Jewish War Veterans (JVW) Ladies Auxiliary 150 in commemorating the service and sacrifices made by all military veterans for the country.
The annual event, held at the JASA center located in the community space at the Brooklyn Sports Club, was a mid-morning affair solely dedicated to honoring veterans with words and music.
Starrett City Girl Scouts began the activities with a flag ceremony that included everyone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and saluting the veterans in attendance. Ruth Horowitz, President of the JWV Ladies Auxilary 150, read the World War I poem, In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, in remembrance of those who gave their lives.
A perennial musical treat, the JASA Chorus gave group and solo performances. Led by their musical director Vincent Sica and accompanied by pianist and Russian Army veteran Vladimir Klezmer, the chorus’ songbook of patriotic tunes was again a crowd pleaser. Often praised by the center’s members for their marvelous voices, the singing seniors captivated the audience with spirited renditions of This Is My Country, America, I Love You and the Battle Hymn of the Republic. A special feature of the chorus’ Veterans Day performances was soloists singing love songs and other favorites that were popular during times of war.
Veteran U.S. Air Force member and SCT resident John Quintalino served during the 1950s, he and other veterans were serenaded by his wife Vera, a JASA chorus member, who sang the heartwarming For All We Know.
Invited to sing at this year’s commemoration, The Kingsborough Musical Society Chorus also gave remarkable performances. A mixed group of theater, folk and classical singers, they regularly appear at Kingsborough Community College, churches, synagogues and community centers.
And there was an additional treat, the surprise performance by the renowned Jazz pianist Harold Mabern. As he slid his fingers across the keyboard and played upbeat tunes, some danced while others sang along.
The commemorative event, the personification of patriotic spirit, offered participants an opportunity to honor veterans, sing and laugh together. With a profound and uplifting ending, the veterans showed their appreciation and respect with a salute during the singing of the final song, God Bless America.
EDITED BY AGNES E.GREEN