SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Members of the military joined students, teachers and staff along with South Plainfield School administrators, board of education members, local elected officials, and family and friends on Wednesday for Roosevelt Elementary School’s 18th annual Veterans Day Program. 

“This is the 18th year we have been running this program and this is probably the largest crowd we have had…,” said Roosevelt Principal Robert Diehl

In October, the students studied the Armed Forces and learned songs to coincide with the different branches of services to prepare for the Nov. 7 program. On Wednesday morning, Roosevelt’s first and second grade classes paid tribute to those who served the United States during both wartime and peacetime. Under the direction of music teacher Sharon Perez the children performed a selection of patriotic songs. Members of Roosevelt’s Student Council, with guidance from co-advisors Margaret Mosley and Sue Hyun, also spoke about the importance of Veterans Day and provided information about the musical selections performed. 

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“We feel it is important to teach our boys and girls who we have holidays and what they are all about and what it all means,” said Diehl. 

This year, first graders performed “America,” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,” “Over There,” “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” and “Anchors Aweigh” while the second graders sang “America the Beautiful,” “Air Force Blue,” “Marine Hymn,” “Semper Paratus” and “Heave Ho, My Lads, Heave Ho.” First and second graders also joined together to perform “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” “There’s a Long, Long Trail,” and “Thank you, Soldiers.” The annual recognition program concluded with the student body, teachers, and special guests joining together to sing “God Bless America.”

The theme of the 2018 program was poppies – which were adopted as symbol of remembrance following World War I – and all students, teachers, and military guests received one to wear. As in previous years, patriotic student artwork adorned the walls of Roosevelt and there was a ‘Flanders Field’ featuring personalized poppies displayed. Additionally, memorabilia was displayed in the school’s glass showcase and a ‘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 graced the school’s entranceway. 

“Each year, we say ‘thank you,’ to the men and woman who served in the United States Armed Forces,” said Diehl, adding, “All of our freedoms and advantages and everything we enjoy we owe to our military…”

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