‘Salute to America’s Finest’ Oak Harbor halftime show honors veterans, First Responders

Nov 7, 2023 | Sports | 0 comments

The Oak Harbor bands performed an annual tribute show to local veterans and First Responders on Friday, Sept. 29. A highlight was the the seventh grade band unfurling a 38-foot by 20-foot flag on the football field. (Photo by Julie Overmyer)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

On Friday, Sept. 29, Oak Harbor High School and Middle School bands upheld a longstanding tradition of honoring local veterans and First Responders at a home football game. About 220 students from the Oak Harbor High School Marching Band and the 7th and 8th grade bands performed “A Salute to America’s Finest” at halftime during the Oak Harbor vs. Otsego varsity football game.

“It’s an annual patriotic show,” said High School Band Director Travis Magoto. “Many people say it’s their favorite show of the year.”

During the show, First Responders were asked to stand so they could be recognized and honored. Then, the high school band played the songs from all six military branches, and veterans from those branches of the service were asked to stand when their song was played.

“This is the first year we added the Space Force song,” Magoto said.

The performance ended with the 8th grade band joining the high school band in playing, “God Bless the U.S.A.” During the song, the seventh grade band unfurled a 38-foot by 20-foot flag on the football field.

“To put that in perspective, there are 72 students in the 7th grade band, and all of them fit around the flag,” Magoto said. “We pair that with lessons on flag etiquette. We teach the students about the meaning of the flag and how to handle it.

“That puts some civic responsibility in their laps.”

The Oak Harbor High School Marching Band is looking forward to two exciting upcoming performances.

On Veterans Day, the band will perform before an audience of about 10,000 people during an Ohio State University Skull Session at St. John Arena. During Christmas break, the band will travel to Orlando, Fla., to perform in a parade at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

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