Students, staff celebrate Veterans Day with special assembly
By Suzanne Misciagna, Staff Writer, The Times
EAST MARLBOROUGH – Members of the Color Guard of American Legion Post 491 processed into the auditorium of Unionville Elementary School this Veterans Day to pay tribute to those who serve our country. They were joined by students, staff, and veterans as part of Unionville Elementary School’s Veterans Day assembly recognizing those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.
Kylie Harlan, a fifth grader at Unionville Elementary, led the Pledge of Allegiance during the Veterans Day ceremony. This was followed by the Unionville Elementary chorus group singing the Star Spangled Banner.
Fifth grader, Kate Holmes, spoke about the history of Veterans Day, highlighting how Veterans Day honors all veterans – those living and deceased.
The tradition of honoring those who serve our country dates back to 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day to remember those who died in service to our country. In 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday – a day dedicated to world peace and primarily to honor veterans of World War I. In 1954, the name was officially changed to Veterans Day, and November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day proclamation.
During the assembly at Unionville Elementary, Dr. John Sanville, Superintendent of the Unionville Chadds-Ford School District, read the 2013 Veterans Day Proclamation issued by President Barack Obama.
“This year, in marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, we resolved that in the United States of America, no war should be forgotten, and no veteran should be overlooked,” says Sanville as he read this year’s proclamation.
The highlight of the Veterans Day assembly was the presentation of certificates to students’ families and friends who served in the military. Boys and girls of all ages honored their loved ones by recognizing their years of military service and describing their role in keeping our country safe.
Even Uncle Sam made an appearance to personally distribute the certificates to our military servicemen.
After the ceremony, veterans were treated to lunch prepared by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization.
The Unionville Chadds-Ford School district has been honoring veterans on this special day for the past 12 years. It all started when former fifth grade teacher Don Silknitter realized that many of his students didn’t know much about Veterans Day or about the role veterans played in securing our country. Silknitter was determined to change this so he organized the first Veterans Day celebration in his classroom.
Today, Unionville Elementary is just one of many schools in the Unionville Chadds-Ford School District honoring veterans on this special day.