by Matthew Wilson
CHARLESTON – Charleston Elementary School students paid tribute to the veterans of our nation through song on November 10. They invited grandparents and parents who served in the armed forces to enjoy the performance. Each class had something to say or sing to show respect for the soldiers who defend the U.S.
Bulletin boards along the hall leading to the gymnasium were filled with pictures of soldiers, family members and friends of those who teach and learn at the school. One by one, each class filed into the gym to find a seat on the floor.
The colors were presented by Air Force veteran Art Laplante. In full dress uniform he walked through the crowd from the back of the hall. A hush fell over the audience and the children as the flag came before them. After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, the children gave their presentation.
Taking turns at the microphone, students from each grade spoke to the importance of honoring Veterans Day. As their music teacher Eileen Baker conducted them, the children sang patriotic tunes in between the short tributes their peers read aloud. With songs such as “America the Beautiful” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” the theme of the day couldn’t have been clearer.
After the singing, veterans and their families were treated to a Thanksgiving-style lunch from the school’s cafeteria. Ron Lavoie, adjutant of the local chapter of Disabled American Veterans, said that he wished more veterans would come out to these kinds of events.
“These kids, I don’t see their parents and grandparents who served coming out as much,” he said. “It’s important that we honor what they’ve done.”