On Friday, November 11, St. Mary of Gostyn School will hold its third annual Veterans Day assembly, presented entirely by 8th grade students, to honor veterans. Invited veterans, students, and staff will congregate in the school gym for this special event organized by teacher Maureen Drabik and technology assistant Mary Graczyk. “The children learn the history of Veterans Day, and why it’s important to honor and thank our veterans for their service,” explained Drabik. “Students receive a prayer card with a veteran’s name on it, and are encouraged to pray for them.”
Boy Scouts from 6th through 8th grades will hold a Color Guard ceremony to bring in the flag, and the student choir will lead the singing of the National Anthem. “We’ll honor each of our special guests and show appreciation with the presentation of a small gift and cards made by the younger students, thanking them for their service,” said Graczyk.
Students will hear from veterans who will speak about their personal military experiences. They will also learn the symbolism of America’s White Table, on display in the school all week. It includes an empty table setting, representing soldiers not at home because they’re serving our country. A student will read the WWI poem “In Flanders Field,” by John McCrae and the students will learn its history. Finally, students will exit silently and place a poppy on the flag-draped table representing a flag-draped coffin.
$1 donations are being collected so students can wear red, white and blue on Veterans Day. The money will benefit the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides free temporary lodging to service members’ families and veterans receiving hospital care at military and VA medical centers.
Past feedback from veterans has been very positive. “Some have written thank you notes, commenting how respectful the students were,” Drabik said. “They felt the assembly was very moving.”
St. Mary of Gostyn Catholic Parish and School
440 Prairie Avenue