SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Roosevelt Elementary School on Monday held its annual Veteran’s Day Program honoring those who served the United States during both wartime and peacetime. The hour-long program – which was held at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 – featured patriotic songs performed by Roosevelt’s first and second grade classes and was attended by retired veterans from various branches of the military.

During the program, members of the Roosevelt Student Council provided information about Veteran’s Day and the history behind the patriotic selections the first and second graders performed. This year’s program included a dozen patriotic songs, including but not limited to, “America the Beautiful,” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,” “Over There,” “Anchors Away,” “Air Force Blue,” “Semper Paratus” and “Taps” as well as the poem Veteran’s Day.

At the end of the morning program, heartfelt letters and cards created by the students were presented to Joseph Ferrera, a member of Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 452 who served in the 82nd Airborne 3rd Brigade. “I come every year. We are thankful for all the letters and cards and the boys and girls who did a wonderful job. We thank you because you thank us,” said Ferrera, who during his time in the Army served as chaplain and is still affectionately known as ‘Father Joe.’

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In addition to the Veteran’s Day Program, the entrance at Roosevelt School features a glassed memorabilia display and ‘Wall of Honor’ paying tribute to the men and women of South Plainfield and the parents and relatives of Roosevelt staff who have served in all branches of the armed forces.

“Programs of this nature promote patriotism amongst our students,” said Michele Santelli, a first grade teacher and the school’s veteran’s liaison. “They learn a love for their country and are thankful for a life of freedom.”