“Whether it's peacetime or wartime, it's always important that we remember – Veteran's Day means more than just a day off from school.”
These were the words that opened Principal Holli Armstrong's Oakdale Elementary School Veterans Day assembly.
All week at school, time was put aside to teach our “young ones” the importance of Veterans Day. Originally celebrated in 1919, to honor those who served, sacrificed, and survived World War 1, Veteran's Day (Armistice Day) has grown and evolved over the years.
It was in 1978, that a bill was signed, assuring the nation that each year on Nov. 11, the day would be set aside to honor and thank all veterans who served our country.
A National Resolution was passed in 2001, that calls for our country's Elementary and Secondary Schools to help continue to educate and inform our students, of the contributions and sacrifices of our veterans.
Principal Armstrong called together her twelve, Fifth Grade student councilors, and plans for the annual assembly got underway.
Prior to the actual event, research and study was compiled. Books were read in the classroom, flags were drawn and colored. Songs were rehearsed and poems were recited, all in preparation for the big day.
In addition, the students at Oakdale were treated to speeches from Sgt. Matt Menz (Ret. – US Army) and Sgt. Paul Lyman (US Marines) who thanked them for all of their hard work and effort – remembering our veterans. Sgt. Menz is the brother of Oakdale's Health teacher Michaelene Marotta and Sgt. Lyman has two children currently attending the school.
As the assembly drew to a close, word “leaked out” that it was Principal Armstrong's birthday. First grade student, Sophia Shagoury, made her way to the microphone on the stage, and led the 300 plus students and teachers on to a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.