Krista Gorman, the principal of the kindergarten-through-fifth grade parochial school, said students and staff assembled around the flagpole in front of the school Nov. 9 to sing patriotic songs and "pray for all of our veterans, past and present." They also invited area veterans to attend the assembly and about 10-12 turned out for the tribute.
Gorman said the assembly has been an annual tradition at the school the last few years.
Gorman said the school has, in past years, gone out into the community to honor local veterans on Veterans Day. Students have visited a local restaurant in the past to thank area veterans and sing for those in attendance, and have traveled to area cemeteries to recognize service members, Gorman said.
"The last few years we've just gathered around the flagpole and invited area veterans to come," she said. "We want students to make the connection that we honor them and pray for them."
Prior to the assembly, students spent time in class making "thank-you" cards and pictures to present to the veterans who attended on Friday. There were also class lessons associated with Veterans Day.
"We wanted to let them (veterans) know we appreciate them so much," Gorman said.
During the tribute, students sang several patriotic songs, including "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and others. The assembly concluded with the singing of "God Bless America."
"We want to honor fallen soldiers, as well as honor current service members and those who fought so hard to keep this country free and keep it one nation under God," Gorman said.
Asked what Veterans Day means to her, St. Mary's fifth-grader Faith Keating said, "We honor all those that served for us in the military now and in the past."
"It gives us a chance to honor those who have fought to make our country free," fourth-grade student Anna Guilfoyle said.
Second- and third-grade students made and colored American flags for the veterans and wrote such messages as "Thank you for your service!" "God Bless You," and "God Bless America!"
"We knew they liked it because they smiled at us and told us they appreciated it very much," third-grader Olivia Walker said.