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Hochstein School honors namesake on Veterans Day

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Hochstein School
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Bruce Aldridge performs Taps outside the Hochstein School in honor of Veterans Day.

For more than 100 years, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month has had special meaning -- the moment the guns went silent at the end of World War I.

The Hochstein School commemorated Veterans Day with the ringing of a “peace” bell and the sounding of a trumpet at that very moment Thursday. 

The school’s namesake, Rochester native and violinist David Hochstein, served in the U.S. Army on the Western Front during the last push from the Allies. He died two weeks before the war ended. 

For 101 years, the school has offered dance and music classes to grade-school students and the community. It was founded in his honor two years after his death.

“The result of his death is that he has impacted thousands of people over the past hundred years for the good,” said Gary Palmer, assistant director of the school, which also has supported veterans with expressive art therapy classes.

“I really believe strongly that music, dance, and art in general is important to the human soul for a life well-lived,” he said.

Trumpeter Bruce Aldridge, whose father served in the Navy during World War II, performed taps at the small, brief gathering outside the school’s brick walls. 

It’s a deceptively simple piece of music that carries enormous weight with each breath, Aldridge said.

“The last note that I play as it trails off, I think that there's a lot of meaning to that where it's like a final farewell,” he said.

The Hochstein School’s Veterans Day commemoration is part of a national remembrance collaboration with the Bells of Peace, created by the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 2018.

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