Honoring Veterans

At Sylvan Avenue Elementary School, the nation’s veterans were celebrated not just on one day this November, but for an entire week. Leading up to their schoolwide Veterans Day assembly program, the school’s students and staff coordinated several fundraising activities for veteran support organizations, wrote hundreds of letters to wounded veterans and created a “Hallway of Heroes” to showcase the names and pictures of family members or friends who have served in the armed forces.

After members of the Marine Corps Honor Guard presented the colors to signify the start of the school’s ceremony, several presenters spoke to the students, staff members and local veterans in attendance about this significant topic.

Retired Brig. Gen. John Digilio discussed the importance of service and the freedoms Americans enjoy while Faye Cambria, a member of Patchogue’s VFW Ladies Auxiliary, spoke about the Honor Flight, an organization that sends WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to see their memorial for free. Author Valerie Pfundstein discussed her book “Veteran: Heroes in Our Neighborhood” and two service dogs and trainers from the America’s VetDogs Veteran’s K-9 Corps conducted demonstrations to showcase the important role that service dogs play in assisting disabled veterans.

As a result of the school’s fundraising efforts, large donations were made to both Honor Flight and America’s VetDogs. The school collected $737 and $250 for the organizations, respectively, to aid in their continued work to assist veterans.
The program concluded with a moving student performance of “God Bless the USA.”