On Veteran’s Day, St. John School students once again honored the men and women who have served our country so bravely. As is traditional at St. John School, all grades from PreK to Grade 8 participated in the Veteran’s Day ceremony.
Principal, Mother Elaine opened up with a prayer honoring our brave. This was followed by a tribute to our forefathers who on July 4th, 1776, declared the United States of America would be free forever. Veterans and all in attendance were asked to stand for the presentation of the flag, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The youngest students, the PreK class, thanked the Veterans for their service and sang “50 Stars”. Grades 1 and 6 followed with “God Bless America” and a prayer for our Veterans.
Veteran's Day Ceremony 2019
Next came a very poignant moment, when a table was set by 8th Graders accompanied by their PreK buddies symbolizing members of the military profession who have yet to return home (MIAs/POWs). Symbolisms such as the small table (to represent the frailty of the soldiers alone against oppression), a black napkin (to represent the sorrow of captivity), salt (to represent their families’ tears as they wait), a lemon (to remind of their bitter fate), an inverted glass (they cannot toast with us), and an empty chair (to represent they are missing) stirred strong emotion in all who attended.
Grades 2 and 3 continued the ceremony by reciting ‘Because of You”. Grade 8 student, Ryan C. spoke about our wish is for peace around the world and freedom for all. On behalf of SJS, he thanked those who continue to serve and those who have served and are now home. Welcome home to you! Veterans from each branch were then presented with cards and gifts created by the students of St. John School in gratitude for their service. Grades K and 4th recited a poem and song together and were followed by Grade 7 who recited “I am the Flag of the USA”. In addition, Grade 5 danced a rap and were followed by SJS Special Choir.
The United States flag was folded by Juan P., Joseph A. and Caleb H. from Grade 8. The meaning of each fold was announced. We learned at the ceremony of retreat, the flag is lowered, folded into a triangle and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nations dead. The next morning it is brought out and at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.
Mother Elaine rounded out the event by inviting St. Pio Associate Pastor, Fr. Martin to bless the Veterans and guests in attendance. The ceremony concluded with Taps played by Ryan C. & Joseph A. from Grade 8 on trumpet. Mother Elaine’s concluding remarks once again thanked our Veterans for their service. She also thanked the SJS teachers and students for all their hard work in creating and performing the ceremony. All received an ovation from a record-breaking number of Veterans in attendance including many parents and grandparents, many in uniform. We salute our Veterans and are so grateful to God for their service. God bless you.