Stepney 4th graders honor veterans with a special assembly

MONROE, CT — Stepney Elementary School students celebrated Veterans Day with a special assembly on Friday, when they welcomed 18 veterans to their school.

The event was hosted by the fourth grade class, whose students learned about this special day and payed their respects to those who serve our country.

Students talked about the three major branches of government — legislative, executive and judicial — and sang the song, “Thank You, Soldiers”.

Several Stepney students introduced family members who served, or are still serving, in the armed forces to their classmates.

“Our students introduced their veterans to the community,” Principal Ashley Furnari said of family members who served. “All 18 veterans were called by name. Students were proud of their loved ones and the community enjoyed meeting them.”

The assembly closed with a final “thank you” to the veterans for their service and with the singing of the patriotic song, “Grand Old Flag”.

“It was a beautiful morning filled with positive energy,” Furnari said. 

In her opening remarks Friday, Furnari said, “today, we are fortunate to have veterans here with us at Stepney School. We will be recognizing and thanking our veterans for their service.” 

“Each of these men and women have made sacrifices for our country,” she continued. “Can we please say a quiet and respectful thank you. There are other ways you can say thank you to a veteran. You can smile, wave or ask them about their greatest accomplishment.”

Comments from students 

Furnari shared some anonymous comments made by her fourth grade students:

Today, we want to talk about what it means to have courage and to be brave. When you have a mindset that allows you to face difficulty, danger or pain without fear, you have courage and are brave.”

“Being patriotic means to have a love for your country: the United States of America. We are being patriotic when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The flag stands for our country. It is believed that the red represents valor or sacrifice. The white represents innocence or purity.  The blue represents perseverance or vigilance. The 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies. The 50 stars represent our 50 states.”

“Veterans are people who served in the military — Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force — in times of war or peace. We have invited Veterans here today to say, ‘thank you for your service to our country.'”

“Veterans protected our country by putting their lives on the line, if needed, to guarantee the freedoms we enjoy today. They did not run from battle, yield to fear, or abandon their cause. They were brave and had courage as they served their country. They love the United States of America. Because of their service to our country, we owe them our full support and thanks.”

In her closing remarks at the end of Friday’s assembly, Furnari said, “on behalf of Stepney Elementary School, we are happy to have you here. Thank you for serving our country and helping to keep us safe and free. We respect and honor each of you.”

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