The entire student body, members from the community and veterans gathered under the pavilion at the back of the Pine Island Elementary School campus to pay tribute to the veterans Friday morning during their annual Veterans Day Program.
Patriotic songs filled the air, speeches were made and introductions by all the veterans who attended the special event occurred during the hour-long program last week.
After the Pine Island Boy Scouts brought the American flag into the ceremony, the pledge of allegiance was said by everyone in attendance, which was then followed by the Eagle Choir singing the national anthem.
The entire student body at Pine Island Elementary School sang “A Grateful Nation” and “The Heart of America” during the Veterans Day Program at the school Friday morning.
The second grade students sang "God Bless America," while doing sign language before guest speaker VFW Post Commander Paul Birdwell addressed the crowd.
"It really does my heart good to see such patriotic young Americans," he told the students who sat before him. "It shows the pride that you take in the United States."
Birdwell said that the veterans appreciate all that the students do.
"Our heart goes out to you it is an honor," he told the students about being able to attend the event. "God bless America and God bless you."
Once Birdwell was done with his speech, all of the veterans in attendance told the students their names, what years they served and what branch of military they served with.
Music filled the air again as the Eagle Choir sang "Land That We Love," before fourth grade student Rilea Melvin read a letter thanking all the veterans on behalf of the elementary school.
Her speech began by saying it is an "honor to represent my school on this very important day."
Rilea went on to thank the veterans for fighting for their freedom.
"Your bravery and desire to never quit when times are hard makes you our heroes," she concluded.
A bald eagle flew above as the youngster presented the thank you speech.
A poem was then read by Lilly Overbaugh, who won third place for her poem during the districts 9th annual Pride and Patriotism: Youth Celebrating the Arts and Honoring Veterans celebration event at Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall Nov. 8.
"Banging of drums and trumpets blare the National Anthem screaming and laughing children raise their hands, waving for candy to rain down on them cheering for the veterans on parade. Colorful cars and floats decorated like piatas chug down the road. A background of fireworks sprinkle the night sky with rainbows of blue, red and purple confetti, what a beautiful site. The waving of red, white and blue blurs my vision remembering the brave men and women who fought for our freedom and didn't survive. The banging of the marching band drums reels me back. I wipe my tears full of pride."
Ava Williams, 2nd grade student at Pine Island Elementary School, was also mentioned during the ceremony for winning first place for her chalk drawing. Her artwork was chosen during the district's 9th annual Pride and Patriotism: Youth Celebrating the Arts and Honoring Veterans celebration event at Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall Nov. 8.
The entire student body of the elementary school stood and sang "A Grateful Nation" and "The Heart of America."
Principal Rob Mazzoli concluded the program with a speech about the Pride and Patriotism event that was held the night before.
"I was very humbled to be in the presence of so many men and women who served our nation," he told the students about his experience, adding that he was inspired by the men and women's courage and bravery.
He told the veterans who attended that they will never forget what they have done for them.
"Thank you for making the sacrifice to provide the freedoms we have today," Mazzoli said.
He encouraged the students to thank all the veterans they pass for serving our country over the weekend.
The choir then sang "Go in Peace," which was followed by Bill Misenhimer playing "taps."