WESTFIELD, NJ — Students from Holy Trinity School learned first-hand about the sacrifices made by veterans and service members during the Veterans Day ceremony at Westfield’s World War I memorial.

“I think it was really great that we had the opportunity to honor our veterans who sacrificed for us,” said eighth grader Zoe Schack.

“I think it was a great day,” said seventh grader Rafael Morin. “Many people gave wonderful speeches. I learned a lot from the mayor about her father and how this day is very important to her.”

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Many of the children had not previously heard the story of how Mayor Shelley Brindle’s father had died when she was 6 years old. He was shot down over Vietnam 49 years ago this Wednesday.

“As a nation, we could all benefit from emulating the values of our veterans,” Brindle said in her remarks. “We civilians owe them not just gratitude for their service, but civility and kindness to each other.”

You can read Brindle’s entire speech here.

Claire Lezynski, president of Holy Trinity School’s student council, called Brindle’s speech “extremely moving.”

“I wouldn’t have been able to do that and talk about my father like that, so it was very courageous of her,” the eighth grader said.

During the ceremony, Danielle Bracco presented Brindle with a certificate of appreciation to the town for its support of the 102D Calvary Regiment.

The Holy Trinity students participated in singing “God Bless America” led by singer Kerry Stubs and recited “America the Beautiful.”

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