From time to time in the work of education certain moments grab you and tell you that everything that we do in educating our youth is well worth it. Today I had one of those moments. I was asked to to attend our band’s rehearsal class, that they had prepared a special piece for today and wanted me to hear them perform. I was honored that the band wanted me to listen. The piece they had prepared was An American Elegy, by Frank Ticheli. The music was written in tribute/memory of the victims of the Columbine School incident that happened ten years ago today. I can remember being moved to tears several times in adulthood for varied reasons. Today I was moved to tears by music that was composed in the memory of that horrible incident, the spirit of those students and teachers who survived it, and the triumph of the American Spirit that allows us to remember this incident and to find inspiration from it. Today’s performance by the PHS band was an example of everything that is right in American education. We can take pride in the fact that we still emphasize the arts in most of our schools and that our students learn to express themselves and learn about their world through programs such as these. We teach our students to express all ranges of emotions and to do it in a constructive way! All parts of our curriculum are very important and they all play their part, much as the musicians in the band did today. You can talk all you want about the education systems of other countries, I myself will take ours over theirs (warts and all)! We do more to serve all the needs of all our students and it is a testimony to educators everywhere that we continue to do so in spite of incidents such as the one at Columbine ten years ago! We must continue to fight (like those courageous people directly affected at Columbine did to put their lives and school community back together) to keep our Fine Arts programs alive. Let us make that part of the legacy!