Remembering their sacrifice
Conowingo Elementary recognizes veterans
— For many, Memorial Day represents the start of summer, but on Wednesday, Conowingo Elementary School students took some time to remember the day’s true purpose.
The school’s Memorial
Day remembrance ceremony has been a tradition for at least a decade, with students, staff, veterans and community members gathering in front of the school to honor and remember those who have served and given their lives in service.
“Enjoy your hot dogs and hamburgers, but remember why you have the day off,” Deb Cook, a fourth-grade teacher at the school told the students.
Cook, who organized the ceremony, told the students that her father is buried at Arlington National Ceremony and encouraged them to visit Arlington or another military cemetery to pay their respects, even if they don’t know the soldiers personally.
“Regardless of who they are, they deserve our respect,” she said.
During the hour-long ceremony, students paid their respects by singing songs, reading poems and reciting facts about Memorial Day. The ceremony also in- cluded a moment of silence for those killed in action, and students were encouraged to hold up photos of family members who had died or couldn’t make it to the event.
The ceremony concluded with students giving flowers to each of the veterans in attendance.
Bill Langston, an Army veteran and former commander of the Delta, Pa., Veterans of Foreign Wars post, attended the ceremony at the invitation of his nieces and nephews. Though this is the first year he’s attended the ceremony, Langston said it was a nice event and a great way for the students to honor Memorial Day.
“I think it’s extremely important because we need to get pa- triotism back in the classroom at the earliest moment possible,” he said.
Sal Anello, a Marine Corps veteran, has attended the ceremony for the past nine years. Anello works with many students as part of the YMCA afterschool program at the school and said he’s always impressed with the amount of work the students put in.
“Their reaction to what patriotism is goes way beyond 110 percent,” he said.
Over the years, the ceremony has become something he looks forward to every May, Anello said.
“It makes you feel good inside,” he said.
Conowingo Elementary School students spell out the word “freedom” during a ceremony honoring veterans.
Veterans salute as “The Star Spangled Banner” plays during a ceremony at Conowingo Elementary School honoring veterans.