December 5, 2011

World War II Pearl Harbor Veterans Honored During Owens Community College Holiday Concert

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Owens Community College’s Concert Band recently ushered in the holiday season by hosting its annual holiday concert, which featured a heartfelt tribute to four Northwest Ohio World War II veterans who were present when the United States was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Several hundred individuals in the College’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts Mainstage Theatre provided a standing ovation to the World War II veterans who were serving their country 70 years ago at Pearl Harbor when the United State was attacked by Japan. The four American service men who were honored during the concert were Tom Child of Findlay, James Gilbert of Toledo, John Fox of Sylvania and Charles Kessinger of Toledo. Both Child and Gilbert could not be in attendance.

“This is one of the most wonderful moments of my life,” said 93-year-old Kessinger, who was stationed on the USS Pennsylvania when the Japanese attack took place. “I am really speechless and humbled. I was nearly crying on stage. I want to thank Owens Community College for this honor. It means a lot.”

Owens Adjunct Instructor in Fine and Performing Arts and Concert Band Conductor Fred Dais added, “America would not experience freedom as we know it without the selfless acts of the brave men and women who have and are serving our country. We are eternally grateful and Owens Community College’s Concert Band is proud to recognize them.”

Musical selections presented by the Owens Concert Band, which is comprised of Owens students and employees and community members, included both holiday and patriotic themes highlighted by “At Dawn They Slept (December 7, 1941)”, “Under The Double Eagle”, “The Spirit of Christmas”, “A Celebration of Hanukkah”, “A Fireside Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

Owens Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, as well as at the Arrowhead Park Learning Center in Maumee and the Learning Center at The Source in downtown Toledo. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit

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