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Specifically, the honorees  included New York residents Michael Bellone, Robert Berrett, Robert Crawford and retired former Marine Jason Thomas. All participated in search, rescue and recovery efforts at "Ground Zero" following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, nearly 15 years ago. Undoubtedly, the music students that he teaches have little or no recollection of events that day.

The Jason Thomas story got made into a movie. He was on leave from the Marines when he learned of the attack on the World Trade Center. He put on his Marine Uniform and went immediately to help from his home in Brooklyn. He spent two days there, calling out “U.S. Marine, can anyone hear me”. On his second day, he got a response from under the rubble. It was two New York City Police officers and he saved their lives.

Rod Miller annually dresses up for the annual concert. He conducts the band, along with a handful of local community musicians, in a bright red band uniform that copies the style of the venerated John Phillip Sousa. The band  played background for vocalist Felita LaRock of Dayton who performed a stirring rendition of the Bette Midler classic "The Wind Beneath My Wings" for the heroes of 9/11.They performed Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and naturally ended with "Stars and Stripes Forever".

The concert was the last one for 20+ seniors in the band, who delivered their instruments to a table at the front of the stage, one by one, as the band performed the  Alma Mater.

Nobody in the "standing-room-only" crowd left the PCHS Performing Arts Center disappointed.

Sousa Concert Honors 9/11 Heroes
By John Schaffner
When an event draws nearly 800 people, that's news. Saturday night, The Port Clinton High School Performing Arts Center was filled to over capacity for the 10th annual Sousa Concert, honoring the storied band leader who captivated America in the late 19th and early 20th century.

However PCHS Band Director Rod Miller has made the annual Sousa Concert even a more special event by honoring American heroes from a variety of different wards and conflicts. Last Saturday night was no exception, as Miller honored 4 individuals who responded to the events of September 11, 2001 in New York City. In addition he made certain to honor the local first responders who keep the residents of the Port Clinton School District safe everyday


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