NEW MARKET, Md. (WDVM) — In honor of Veteran’s Day, New Market Elementary School hosted several former servicemen and women for a morning of celebration.
More than 300 students filled the school’s gymnasium and expressed their gratitude for their audience of veterans in one of the best ways they know how: song.
Students sang along to several songs and also performed a sketch aimed at explaining who veterans really are.
“Women can be veterans too. Many women serve our country in the armed forces in times of peace and in times of war,” one student proclaimed.
This is the eleventh annual Veterans Day celebration organized by music specialist, Julia Seiler.
“The students learn about ‘what is a veteran,’ and they really do love Veteran’s Day. When you start doing things like this, more and more people, it shows you’re really caring and kindness comes out,” Seiler said.
The school welcomed dozens of local veterans, many of whom are the parents, and grandparents of current students.
Each were handed a poppy flower pin in honor of their service.
Vietnam War veteran Don Farrar has two grandchildren at the school and says teaching young ones about military service is vital.
“You’ve got to start them young to know that it’s important to serve your country and to respect your country and to respect values,” Farrar explained.
Earlier this year, students penned letters to about 500 county veterans and their responses now line the walls of a hallway.
“I asked [a veteran] what branch he was in, and I asked him what his favorite food and color was,” fourth grade student, Layla Shipp said.
Zachary Dwyer is a former member of the U.S. Navy and a recipient of the school’s military sponsorship that throughout the year sends servicemen and women care packages with candy, toiletries, and letters.
“Opening up a box and seeing that it’s full of letters from kids saying how much they appreciate what we’re doing, it just really brings it home that we’re doing something that’s good and meaningful for the country,” Dwyer explained.
New Market Elementary School is currently accepting donations for Make a Difference Day, where supplies and letters are sent to a sponsored military member.