With student essays, songs and poems, Bull Run Elementary celebrated Veterans Day, on Monday, with a special ceremony. Scouts wore their uniforms, and several members of the community who were or still are in the military participated.
"Today is a very special day of recognition for the special men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving their country," said Bull Run Principal Deborah Miller. "They're brave people who've had to face their own fears to protect our country, and they are our heroes."
Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 321; Junior Girl Scout Troops 2637, 4402 and 6166; and Brownie Troops 4256 and 5240 presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance. And Bull Run music teachers Kelly Butler-Noel, Lauren Hentz and Ruth Wygal sang the national anthem.
Sixth-grader Thomas Moskal played "Taps" during a moment of silence, and teacher Mary Lou Flowers' third-graders recited the poem, "On Veterans Day." All the sixth-graders sang, "This is My Country" and "Sing a Song of Peace."
The military personnel represented all branches of the service, and Navy veteran Conrad Agresti came on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Army Col. Carl Johnson, husband of Bull Run fifth-grade teacher Jo Johnson, said, "Thank you for remembering us. And continue to remember the men and women serving overseas as they try to protect you."
Several students read essays; below are some excerpts.
Estella Massey, sixth grade: "Oh veterans, oh veterans, you make us proud, all of us in the crowd. From dawn till dusk, from sun to moon, your family looks forward to you coming home soon. Oh veterans, oh veterans, you are brave, millions of lives you do save. Veterans from the past till now, please stand and take a bow."
Valerie Frigerio, sixth grade: "Veterans are heroes because they risk their lives for our safety. They travel to harsh lands to fight the enemy for our country. We have TV, good food and comfy beds. But over in Afghanistan and Iraq, there are combat soldiers who don't have what we have. Their food is really disgusting; I tried some. Overall, they sacrifice their comforts, needs and family for the safety of our people."
Megha Jassal, fourth grade: "Veterans make our country a better place to live. They make sure our country is not under attack. Veterans help keep our freedom. Veterans also make sure that our enemies stay away. They protect others in danger."
Jenna McKeown, fourth grade: "Veterans are our heroes because they have fought to give us our freedom and have kept us free. When you are free, you can follow your dreams and your heart. If you have a certain belief and are being kept from that religion, you need to tell someone. That's why our soldiers are here, to protect us and our rights ... and they will all be remembered as long as mankind exists."
Malia Bates, fourth grade: "You have to be very courageous and brave to go out to battle. They train you, but you never know what will happen. Veterans had to leave their families behind ... and never knew if they would get an injury [or] even see their loved ones and home again."
Andrea Barraza, third grade: "Veterans will never let our flag down. You will always return as heroes, and I am really glad that you serve our country. Thank you very much."
Aaliyah Carter, third grade: "Veterans help people who live near the battlefields. A veteran could be a doctor that saves lives. It isn't easy to be a veteran."
Jordan Rivera, third grade: "For all the veterans who fought in WWI and WWII, it doesn't matter if you are in heaven or on earth, you are still a hero. You are so brave to risk your life for people."
Abby Mayer, third grade: "Thank you for protecting us and other people who are in danger. This is why Nov. 11 is a special day."
Noah Dennis, third grade: "I wish I could be a veteran when I grow up. I want to be in the Air Force. I want to protect my country."
Emily Lowrance, third grade: "What would we do without veterans? Veterans are the reason we have freedom in our country."