On Veteran’s Day, St. John School students once again honored the men and women who have served our country so bravely. As is traditional at St. John School, all grades from PreK to Grade 8 participated in the ceremony along with the SJS Advanced Band, Mrs. Hurlburt and student Lina Y. on piano.
After Grade 8 opened up with petition prayers, Veterans and all in attendance were asked to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Old Glory was then sang by Grades 4 and Kindergarten. They held drawings which represented all the branches of the armed forces. This was followed by PreK who thanked the Veterans for their service with a thank you poem and sang “50 Stars”.
Next came a very poignant moment, when a table was set by 8th Graders accompanied by their PreK buddies symbolizing members of the military profession who have yet to return home (MIAs/POWs). Symbolisms such as the small table (to represent the frailty of the soldiers alone against oppression), a black napkin (to represent the sorrow of captivity), salt (to represent their families’ tears as they wait), a lemon (to remind of their bitter fate), an inverted glass (they cannot toast with us), and an empty chair (to represent they are missing) stirred strong emotion in all who attended.
Veteran's Day 2018
America the Beautiful was played by Gillian M on clarinet, Kevin F. on trumpet, Celia A. on flute and Jack F. on saxophone. All Veterans in attendance were asked to rise. Students passed out cards made by the students during last week’s 1stNew England Catholic School’s Week. They were followed by Grades 1 and 6 reciting verses to the veterans past and present to remember that you are loved and never forgotten. They finished by singing “Proud to be an American”.
Grades 3 and 7 continued the ceremony by reciting individually what the U.S. flag stands for and finished by singing “Let Freedom Reign”. The United States flag was then folded by Jon Paul H. and Mark S. from Grade 8, with the meaning of each fold announced.
Sister Gabriela conducted as Grades 2 and 5 sang to thank the Veterans. They concluded by holding up a red, white and blue banner which spanned with width of the stage, saying “Thank You Veterans”.
Mother Elaine rounded out the event by reading a reflection of Veteran’s Day. The ceremony concluded with Taps played by Jack F. on saxophone, Kevin F. , Ryan C. & Joe C. on trumpet and Ronan F . on drums. Mother Elaine’s concluding remarks once again thanked our Veterans for their service. She also thanked Ms. Hurlburt, the SJS teachers and students for all their hard work in creating and performing the ceremony. All received an ovation from a record-breaking number of Veterans in attendance including many parents and grandparents, many in uniform. We salute our Veterans and are so grateful to God for their service. God bless you.