Colchester veterans celebrated on Veterans Day

By Jason Harris - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Tue., Nov. 13, 2012
Students performing during Colchester Elementary School's 12th annual Veterans Day celebration.
Students performing during Colchester Elementary School's 12th annual Veterans Day celebration.

Colchester Elementary School held its 12th annual Veterans Day celebration on Friday, Nov. 9. The hour-long event began with a parade of veterans and with the students singing “Oh Veterans.” Principal Jackie Somberg said it was “a great opportunity to make history come alive.”

Somberg gave a little history of Veterans Day, the U.S. holiday which was originally called Armistice Day. “It’s a day set apart from all the rest to honor vets who have served our great nation and defended our country in the time of war and those who are currently serving the United States,” Somberg said.

Board of Education Chairman Ronald Goldstein told the students veterans have cared for everyone in their own special way. “They take care of you because they serve,” Goldstein said. “They serve you because they serve our country.” Through their service, veterans protect us, our freedom, and keep us safe, Goldstein said to the children.

Somberg created the school’s Veterans Day celebration when she took her position at the school. The school does an incredible job to educate the kids, she said. "We're giving back to people who have given us these freedoms," said Somberg, adding that they enjoy giving back to the people who did not receive a positive reception when they returned from Vietnam.

Army veteran Walt Tallman, who represents the American Legion, the VFW, and Antique Veterans of Colchester, said Somberg came to him 12 years ago to help her with this celebration. “She does a terrific job,” Tallman said. “We can’t appreciate enough what she’s doing for us and the kids. We’re just glad that we can do it for her and we can help her out.”

“Today is an absolute embodiment” of how Colchester supports veterans in town, said Master Sgt. Dan Henderson. “They do such a great job making sure the kids understand what a veteran is; what we do to support the country,” Henderson said. “That goes a long way. We don’t have many opportunities to show our appreciation and express that gratitude to them, so it really means a lot.”

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