HONORING HEREOS

December 03, 2001 11:00 pm
Cast of benefit program holds flags while Mary Trailor leads song. ().
Cast of benefit program holds flags while Mary Trailor leads song. ().

Theater fans listened to the songs everyone has been hearing since 9-11 this weekend when the Chetco Pelican Players honored those who serve.

Honor Our Heroes was a program honoring emergency crews in Curry County.

Members of the Brookings Fire Department, Brookings Police Department, Harbor Fire Department, Curry County Sheriffs Department and Cal-Ore Life Flight Ground and Air Ambulance began the program by parading United States flags donated by Vietnam Veterans of America.

The flags were the ones used to create Avenue of the Flag on holidays. It was learned that the flags are taller than expected. They protruded above the 8-foot ceiling, causing special handling of the more than a dozen flags used to fill the Performing Arts Center.

Half of the proceeds from the three shows are to be donated to the Salvation Army. The weekend gathered $360 although attendance was weak at all performances. At Saturdays performance, about a third of the seating was filled.

Following the invocation by Rev. Bill Smith of St. Timothys Episcopal Church, Theda McMickle sang America The Beautiful. Everyone, including the audience, participated in singing Youre A Grand Old Flag.

Dianna Cartwright came on stage to sing The Hero, followed by an open letter to the terrorists read by Tony Kasday. The letter detailed how terrorists failed to break the American spirit.

A medley of I Want to Be Happy and Happy Days was sung by Joan Corey, followed by a lighthearted rendition of Ive Grown Accustomed to Her Face. Smith sang the song to the Statue of Liberty.

Lightheartedness continued when Victoria Weller read The Binch. The story, taking on a Dr. Seuss poetic style, played on The Grinch with the people of Whoville being the citizens of the U.S. singing, affecting the attitude of Binch Laden.

Several hymns were sang by the Brookings-Harbor Christian Church worship team. The group returned during the second half.

Mikey, a regular entertainer at M&L Production Studios, sang City of New Orleans with the help of Rebecca Brickley. The duo later sang Youve Got a Friend.

Linda Taylor, who was given an extra short lectern by Mistress of Ceremonies Leanne McCurley because of her stature, performed Day of Remembrance. Pam Carrier singing God Bless the U.S.A. closed the first half of the two-hour show.

Following intermission, Marcia Hootman, who accompanied nearly every performance, played a medley of service tunes on the piano. When the song of each service played, those veterans were asked to stand.

Michael S. Fox read the story of Mikes Flag. It was about a prisoner of war who made an American flag out of any material that could be found. Even though his captors confiscated the flag and tortured Mike, he made a second flag when he was returned to his cell.

Weller returned to tell the story of The Living Flag, and how its 500 participants who wore red, white or blue hats to create the flag, wanted to see what it looked like. Color film was not available at the time, so all they could see were black and white images. Unfortunately, if too many people went to the top of the building to look down, it no longer looked like a flag.

She also told the story of a person giving a memorial address.

Someone to Watch Over Me was sung by Cartwright and a medley of This Land is Your Land and This Is My Country was sung by Mary Trailor.

Carrier returned to the stage to sing the hymn On Holy Ground followed by This Nearly was Mine by Bill Smith.

The final story of the evening was told by Dan Kelley. He told about Dorado, a seeing eye dog who helped his master descend from the 71st floor of the World Trade Centers north tower, 20 floors below where the first plane hit. Shortly after their escape, the tower collapsed.

Amazing Grace was sung a capella by Cartwright, Trailor and Carrier, followed by Carrier and the cast closing the program with God Bless America.