THE NORFOLK TIMES
November 16, 2014
While the elementary students at Norfolk’s Freeman-Kennedy School have returned to their daily routines, the Veterans Day Assembly held earlier in the week was one to be remembered. This year’s annual event included important messages from local politicians, veterans, and fellow classmates to honor all who served, past and present. It was a meaningful gathering, punctuated by music, thought-provoking speeches, and heart-felt thanks.
Assistant Principal, Kelly C. Whitmore, quieted vivacious elementary students, Grades 3 through 6, who filled the auditorium. She welcomed guests, students, and families to the assembly. Speakers included Norfolk Selectman, Jim Lehan, Commander of the American Legion, Ben McCarty, Senator Richard Ross, and Representative Shawn Dooley. Parents and a group of veterans from the children’s families also attended.
Jack McCreedy, Jack Dooley, and Sam Murphy, all of Mrs. Trombert’s 3rd Grade class, led the “Pledge of Allegiance” to commence the assembly.
The Freeman-Kennedy Advanced Band, led by Conductor John Fouracre, then performed a well-practiced and professional-sounding rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Lehan, delivered a speech in which he described veterans as “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” He spoke to the children about the freedoms and liberties we enjoy, and that they come at great sacrifice.
“Those serving protect our liberty, our rights, and our very lives,” explained Lehan. He expressed gratitude for all the men and women who serve us, including the Police, Fire, and soldiers among us.
Lehan also pointed out a special lapel-pin he was wearing. The pin is symbolic of a season-long effort by the King Philip Regional High School Hockey Team to celebrate and recognize the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization dedicated to veterans. He announced that the Hockey Team’s efforts would culminate with a special event to be held in late February. All were invited.
McCarty, himself a veteran, and Commander of the American Legion, spoke of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He asked students to imagine, if they could, a government that would wall citizens in to prevent them from leaving. McCarty pointed out how we are to be part of a country whose “government allows for dissention and disagreement.”
When Ross took the stage, he encouraged students to think about the country’s history. He highlighted important documents, like the “Bill of Rights” and “The Declaration of Independence,” which he said define who we are, and why we are willing to protect those freedoms that define us as a people.
Ross pointed out that the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the oldest constitution in the nation, and he invited students to come into the State House for a visit. He thanked the all veterans, past and present, for defending those tenants held by our forefathers and by which we live.
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