On Friday, November 11, Independence Primary School recognized the community’s veterans with a special program.
Veterans and third and fourth-grade student council representatives started the morning in the gym for refreshments and a time to talk with one another.
The program then began with the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and the school’s I-Pride pledge. “Our I-Pride pledge reminds us to be a good citizen just like you,” said student Jonathan Kaczmarczyk. “Thank you for all you have done for us and thank you for being a reminder to us to be the best that we can be.” In addition to Kaczmarczyk, student speakers included Gia Bellitto, Meg Zelasko, Caroline Mieskowski, Mia Mucci, Andrew Miller, Ryleigh Wright, Hayden Jaronowski, and Elise Hatton.
Over the past few weeks, students have been learning about veterans and each grade level has also learned a special patriotic song to perform for the veterans. The students then sang the “Star Spangled Banner.” Students from the different grade levels also sang “America, the Beautiful,” “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” “God Bless America,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”
A special surprise for the veterans was a poem that Sam Carlisle and Jonathan Kaczmarczyk read…
On Veterans Day we honor all
Who answered to a service call
Soldiers young and soldiers old
Fought for freedom - brave and bold
Some have lived - while others died
And all of them deserve our pride
We’re proud of all the soldiers who
Kept thinking of - red, white and blue
They fought for us and all our rights
They fought through many days and nights
And though we may not know each name
We thank all veterans just the same.
“Today, we honor our veterans who are true heroes. Veterans work to protect us and our freedom,” said Principal T.J. Ebert. “We thank you for all you have done for the citizens of this wonderful land we call home, the United States of America. We also thank you for your courage and fighting for our freedom.”
Each veteran that attended the program was introduced and recognized, along with those veterans who have relationships with the students and staff but could not be present.
After the program concluded, the veterans toured the school and enjoyed the hallways the students decorated for them. Art Teacher Mike Gruber’s students worked hard to create a special school-wide mural for Veterans Day. Each student had the chance to paint a small part of the mural, called an agamograph, which is an art form that uses optical illusion to create changes when you look at it from different angles. The school created two separate paintings, and they were cut into pieces and put together in an accordion style, so as visitors walk from one end to the other they see both paintings appear. This special mural was displayed in the entrance of the school lobby.
The school’s Kiwanis K-Kids members distributed gifts to all the veterans as they left the event.