Colchester Elementary School students honor veterans
By Kevin Hotary - Staff writer
Colchester - posted Mon., Nov. 14, 2011
“I am thinking about Colchester Elementary School this morning,” read part of a message, an “unclassified” e-mail that Colchester Elementary School Principal Jackie Somberg had received. The message was from a local soldier currently serving in Afghanistan, and he was thinking about the school and the students on that day, because he knew that on that day they would be honoring his fellow veterans, just as they had done for the past 10 years.
“When we cheer today, let’s make sure we do an incredible job,” said Somberg in her opening remarks. This Veterans Day celebration was extra special for the students, since the holiday falls on the 11th day of the 11th month, and this was their 11th celebration.
The event began in grand style, as a parade of veterans entered the gymnasium to the accompaniment of bagpiper James Dickerson. Then Somberg explained to the students what it means to be a veteran, and why they deserve to be honored.
“Because of veterans… we are able to live in a democracy, a land of freedom,” she said.
“Veterans are real special people. They are real heroes,” added Ron Goldstein, chairman of the Colchester Board of Education.
In addition to the veterans, there was another special guest at the celebration. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2) spoke to the students, and commended them for doing a great job honoring the veterans. “It is really hard work that they do over there [overseas],” said Courtney, adding that “they don’t have to do it. Every single one of these people [veterans] is a volunteer. We, as a nation, have to continually say ‘thank you.’”
During the celebration, a number of students were given the microphone to tell why they were proud to be Americans and why they wanted to honor their veterans.
“Because we can go to whatever school we want to, and be whatever we want to be,” said Kyla.
Emma said, “I love America because of our men and women in the military.”
Then Mikey stepped up to the microphone and said that he’s proud to be an American “because my dad fights for our freedom.”