On Friday morning, November 9th, the students and staff of Race Brook School in Orange held their special annual Veteran’s Day assembly to honor the men and women in the military who have served our country. The veterans were honored with a warm welcome and very attentive behavior of over 400 elementary students during the hour-long assembly. The assembly and the activities afterwards were planned and organized by the Veterans Day Committee: Kellie Martino, Kathy Battles, Janet Greenspan, and Tina Denton. Kellie Martino and school principal, Mike Gray, began the assembly with a special thank you to attending veterans for their service and sacrifice to our country. Student Council was also able to provide $400 in collected donations for House of Heroes, an organization that accepts donations to assist veterans with much needed home repairs.
The majority of the attending veterans were relatives and friends of the school’s families. A poignant onscreen MS PowerPoint presentation displayed photos of veterans with identifying captions while the school’s music teacher, Marie Olden played accompanying patriot music on the piano. The children sang well-rehearsed songs to pay tribute to the veterans during the assembly. They also wrote heartfelt poems and letters of gratitude and handed them out to their guests during the assembly. Adriel A., a fifth grader, states, “I wanted to thank the veterans for risking their lives, so we can be happy and safe.”
The veteran guests were further honored in the classrooms after the assembly where they had the opportunity to share their backgrounds in serving our country and answer questions for students. Many of the veterans shared treasured memorabilia of their service, including uniforms, medals, and scrapbook photos. The veteran guests continued their conversations during a continental breakfast reception provided by the Student Council. The guests were very touched by the school’s efforts to acknowledge all of the veterans as patriots and heroes who showed courage and strength and made many sacrifices for the freedom of our country. Fifth grader Remmy C. states, “It’s important to honor the veterans for putting their lives in danger to give us wonderful freedoms.”