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Milford Beacon
  • ‘Take a Veteran to School Day’ pays tribute to those who have served

  • A combination of patriotic-themed lesson plans incorporated into English, history and music lessons prepared the students to learn from a group of veterans who were invited to participate in Mispillion Elementary’s Take a Veteran to School Day. Students invited friends and family from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and National Guard to be recognized during the ceremony in the school’s gymnasium.
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  • Kayla Clausen’s flute solo on Friday meant a little more than just showcasing her talents to classmates.
    The fifth grader performed in front of her Mispillion Elementary peers, staff and invited veterans, including her grandfather Air Force veteran Lloyd Stoebner, during the school’s first Take a Veteran to School Day program in honor of Veterans Day.
    “It’s an honor to play for our veterans,” Clausen said. “I think it’s important because they defend our country and without them we wouldn’t have our freedom.”
    A combination of patriotic-themed lesson plans incorporated into English, history and music lessons prepared the students to learn from a group of veterans who were invited to participate in Mispillion Elementary’s Take a Veteran to School Day. Students invited friends and family from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and National Guard to be recognized during the ceremony in the school’s gymnasium.
    Take a Veteran to School Day was originally launched by the History Channel in 2007 as a nationwide effort to bring together students and veterans. The program also encourages incorporating a curriculum to enhance students’ historical knowledge of Veterans Day, according to the History Channel’s Web site.
    Natascha Ward, who helped coordinate the event along with Army veteran Alyssa Boyer, said the students were excited and honored to welcome local veterans, as they learned about the history of Veterans Day and fighting for freedom.
    “It’s about recognizing the veterans because, like Rep. [Harvey] said, if they weren’t there, we wouldn’t be here,” Ward said. “Learning about the history really encompasses all areas of education.”
    Mispillion Elementary School Principal Susan Donahue said teaching students patriotic lessons allows the students to show pride in themselves and those who have served the country.
    “We recognize the students at Mispillion for showing their pride and I can’t think of a better way for them to show their pride than by honoring our vets,” Donahue said. “Our children are learning about patriotism by learning those [patriotic] songs and how important those lessons are.”
    In between speeches by Tom Worley of Comcast Cable, Rep. Harvey Kenton (R-Milford) retired Air Force veteran Marny D. McLee, Sr., and a conclusion by U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), students performed the national anthem, the pledge of allegiance and “Proud to be an American,” which brought some, like the school’s principal, to tears.
    “The song ‘Proud to be an American’ always makes me cry, but when I watched [the students] sing it, it really did,” Donahue said to the audience during the event. “I’m very proud that [the students] are a part of our school.”
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