Westlake School Celebrates 25 Years of Honoring Veterans

“On the Wings of Freedom…..”

Army Veteran Dick Whiskin was among the many veterans honored by Holly Lane Elementary School students as part of the “On the Wings of Freedom” Veteran’s Day program.

Army Veteran Dick Whiskin was among the many veterans honored by Holly Lane Elementary School students as part of the “On the Wings of Freedom” Veteran’s Day program.

It was the best elementary school assembly. Ever!

That is the only way to describe the Veteran’s Day program hosted by Holly Lane School in Westlake last Friday, Nov. 8.

Students in Uncle Sam hats high-fived veterans as they came through the front doors. A Vietnam veteran color guard opened the program. Sing-a-longs honored each branch of the service, and students gave every individual veteran in attendance a red carnation and personally crafted ‘Thank You’ card.

Students Cole Kocab, Maddie Nye and Abby Estridge proudly display USA placards at the Holly Lane Veteran’s Day program.

Students Cole Kocab, Maddie Nye and Abby Estridge proudly display USA placards at the Holly Lane Veteran’s Day program.

When the program closed to the strains of Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA,’ nearly everyone in the building had a lump in the throat and a tear in the eye.

“When I saw those children and their beautiful faces as they welcomed us, I remembered once again who we were fighting for, and why we had to win,” said a World War II veteran after the program. “Because if we hadn’t won, some of those children would not be here today.”

Team USA

Team USA

It was the 25th Veteran’s Day program hosted by Holly Lane School under the direction of retiring teacher Marilyn Lester. She started this program many years ago through the encouragement of her beloved parents, Hadyn and Doris Lester.

Mayor Dennis Clough presented Miss Lester with a city proclamation honoring her years of commitment to this truly moving event. “Of all the events I attend each year, this one is the best and the one I look forward to the most,” said Mayor Clough.

Holly Lane School student Megan Forshey with her grandpa, veteran Hank Hanisch.

Holly Lane School student Megan Forshey with her grandpa, veteran Hank Hanisch.

The program began with the Pledge of Allegiance, recognition of veterans from World War II right on up to today’s service men and women, plus patriotic songs and a video presentation by students. The grand finale featured confetti cannons as guests sang along to “God Bless the USA.” It captured the spirit of this important holiday to perfection.

“As Miss Lester plans to retire this year, we would like to thank her for her many years of inspiration and dedication to the students, staff, veterans and the community for this wonderful educational program,” said Principal Mimi Verdone.

“Miss Lester has planted the seed of true patriotism in the hearts of many. Such a gift will continue to bloom for many years to come.”

Thank you, Holly Lane School, for this moving program. It was the best school assembly ever!

Click Here to view the entire Photo Gallery!

Comments

comments