Bands Merge for "A Patriotic Salute to Veterans"

Veterans Day is a time to remember and honor the men and women who served our country. Last night, some young people got an early and special start. Hundreds of high school students from every public high school in the Chatham County got together at Memorial Stadium to mix marching bands with a medley of patriotic music.

Listen to each type of instrument on its own and it's probably hard to pick out much of a tune, but put them all together, take a step back and it's "absolutely the best I've ever heard," according to Veteran of the Year Charles Hearn.

Seven different marching bands got together for a program called "A Patriotic Salute to Veterans."

"They're known for taunting each other instead of working together, so we wanted to work together, and saluting veterans was the best way to do that," said organizer Dr. Benny Ferguson.

It wasn't exactly an easy or smooth process at the beginning. "Starting out, it's like herding cats with 600 high school students, but it worked out," said Ferguson.

"I think that we all came together very well, and everyone was attentive and we got it done," said Ashlee Fogle from Jenkins High.

"Man, it was good," said Beach High's Elliot Brown. "A lot of us are old friends from middle school, so it was good to merge and have fun together."

Veterans say the concert is a great idea, and shows how teenagers in this day and age can often be underestimated. "The youth of this country's as great as we were in World War II," said Hearn. "And they're proving it in Iraq right now."

This is the first time the bands from all seven schools have ever performed together, but certainly not the last. They're already planning for the same thing next year.

WTOC's general manager Bill Cathcart served as master of ceremonies at last night's event.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite,