APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) — The Appleton East High School band will be traveling to Normandy, France next year for the 2020 D-Day events.
According to the school district, the band has been chosen to be the official musical ensemble of the events and an official representative of the United States.
“The East Band was chosen for their reputation, professionalism, dedication to our veterans by Historic Programs, a not-for-profit organization committed to remembering people, places, and events that have shaped the world, and the D-Day Commemoration Committee,” says the Appleton Area School District.
The D-Day Memorial Parade is scheduled for June 6, 2020, in the French village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first village liberated by American troops.
The parade will feature active and retired military personnel, music ensembles, cultural and civic groups.
Historic Programs will present two official public ceremonies at the St. James American Cemetery on June 5 and at the Normandy American Cemetery on June 7. The school district says it is likely the East Band will perform all official ceremonial music at both ceremonies.
The band is also expected to perform in a combined performance to memorialize all those who were laid to rest on the beaches of Normandy.
Kelley DeWitt is bringing her two sons, both Appleton East students, on this trip. “I’m sure being there at the cemeteries, on the beach and marching through the first liberated city with crowds cheering will be incredibly emotional. The reality of the history, the pride in our community and country, and their personal efforts to get there will stay with them forever.”
DeWitt continued, “today our children really don’t have any clue what a war like this was like to live through and fight in. Having them physically see the places that they have only learned about will give them a new appreciation for what our service men and women fight for still today.”
Looking to help the East Band send two-hundred high school band students to the event?
The school district says they are seeking sponsors and donations to help cover the costs involved. For more information, contact Ann Johnson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 920-470-9697.