The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Known today as VeteransÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Day, it presents a time to pause, honor, salute and remember military veterans across the United States. In recognition of this special day, the students and staff at Parish Elementary School in the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School Dsitrict lined the front walkway with American Flags, decorated their school in red, white and blue, and prepared a special tribute ceremony honoring those that served in all branches of the United States Military.
Parish Elementary School Principal Michael McAuliff was joined by Superintendent Deborah Haab and School Librarian and ceremony coordinator Sharon Amyotte in welcoming the students, staff, Board of Education members, and the many special visitors that were invited to participate in the moving tribute ceremony. Superintendent Haab spoke about the importance of the day and said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt is a day dedicated to peace and remembering what we [as Americans] stand for.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Students and staff who have a family member or a friend that served in the United States Military were asked to invite these special guests to the ceremony. As a tribute to their service, the students and staff members with their special guests were then asked to come forward, introduce, and share his/her story with the crowd of patriotic onlookers. Through the round of applause and standing ovation for these special guests, McAuliff said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe certainly have a lot to be proud of.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Following a group of students who performed a short skit and a poem reading, McAuliff asked the veterans in the audience to stand and read a Proclamation from United States President George W. Bush. The statement commended them for their ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œquiet courageÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œexemplary serviceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and thanked them for their valor, loyalty, and dedication.
Students, holding their American Flags high in the air, concluded the special tribute ceremony singing God Bless America.