MONROE, CT — Stepney Elementary School honored veterans with a ceremony in the loop of the school driveway Thursday morning. Children’s relatives who served, and continue to serve, their country were the honored guests in a program that featured patriotic songs performed by fourth graders under the direction of music teacher Lexie LaMendola.
At one point in the ceremony, children took turns introducing parents and other relatives who served.
Among them was James Newman, who was a Senior Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, serving from 1957 to 1999, who is the uncle of Shannon Wassermann, a reading consultant at Stepney, and great uncle to her children, Stepney students C.J., 10, and Andrew, 7.
“It’s amazing just to have this moment to celebrate them and what they do for our country,” Wassermann said.
“This is excellent,” Newmann said of the event. “It makes me proud to see that the country’s on the right track when it comes to the veterans. It wasn’t always like that.”
Principal Ashley Furnari used a megaphone to address the crowd in the driveway. She told the children about the history of Veterans Day.
“We are so honored to have you here today,” she told the veterans. “You all made sacrifices. Thank you for serving our country and keeping us free and safe.”
Later in the program, Furnari pointed out how the day’s honored guests included veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
“Each plays a very unique and special role in protecting and serving our country,” she said.
All of the children said thank you in unison.
“Thank you for being here today,” Furnari said.