Updated 11/23/17 with increase in donation to Honor Flight ($558, up from $417.)
A total of 116 veterans, the largest crowd ever, attended Daniel Boone Elementary’s Veterans Day Celebration on Nov. 10. Most of the veterans who attended, but not all, were related to students at the school.
After enjoying complimentary fruit and baked goods together in the cafeteria, the students escorted the veterans to the gym for a celebration with the entire student body and other guests.
The ceremony kicked off with the posting of colors by Cub Scout Pack 856 and Girl Scout Troop 1214. After the Pledge of Allegiance the Kindergarten class played a bell accompaniment to the National Anthem.
Principal, Mr. Kevin Armour, welcomed and introduced each veterans in attendance, asking them and the children they were related to, to stand as the veteran’s name was called.
During the Armed Forces Salute, members of each branch of the military stood as their particular theme song was played.
A video presentation directed by Mr. Tom Sherman featured students from the school answering the question, “What is a Veteran.”
Members of the third grade class assembled and placed items on a little white table, following the adapted book by Margot Theis Raven. On the table, students placed an American Flag representing our country and the freedom for which it stands; a circular white plate showing everlasting concern for our missing soldiers; a vase tied with a yellow ribbon as a symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing soldiers until all are returned home; a single white rose placed in the vase representing those soldiers who never returned home because they made the ultimate sacrifice; a single red rose representing soldiers who suffered injuries, shed blood and died for our freedom; a single yellow rose for those soldiers who are still missing in action; a black napkin next to the plate representing the deep sorrow felt by families, friends and comrades of those soldiers who never returned home; a handful of salt in the plate representing the many tears shed by those missing in action and by their families and friends; a slice of lemon on the rim of the plate to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured or killed; an inverted glass representing the inability of the missing soldiers to share in a meal; an empty chair leaning against table symbolizing the soldiers’ absence; and finally, a lit white candle symbolizing that the light of American will always be the light in a world of darkness.”
Prior to asking everyone to join him in a moment of silence, Mr. Armour said, “Most of us have not been deeply touched by the loss or the unknown whereabouts of a loved one who served in the military. We go about our daily rituals with little thought of those who died in combat, those still listed as missing in action, or even those possibly still held as prisoners of war. Our day should not be dismally overshadowed by such atrocities, however, we should never forget the sacrifices made by our military men and women, especially those (and their families) who gave the ultimate sacrifice — their life”
The president and treasurer of the student council presented a check for $558 for the Honor Flight Project which allows veterans to visit the war memorials in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Armour thanked all the veterans for attending and recognized everyone who helped and participated, including the Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, staff and students, the Student Council, and PTO parents and volunteers. He also thanked Mr. Dennis Brown, Thiemann-Tidd VFW Post 5651-New Melle, for playing Taps, and the New Melle Fire Department for attending.
Mr. Armour says he believes strongly in hosting the Veterans Day Celebration, “It not only provides an opportunity to recognize and appreciate our Veterans, but it also teaches the students why it is important to remember and honor them and the sacrifices they made.”
This year, as Mr. Armour shook hands (as he does every year) with the veterans as they left their seats, several fourth grade students followed his lead, extending their hands as the veterans walked by. The veterans were obviously pleased and responded enthusiastically.
To those students, I’d say, “Lesson well-learned!”