Veterans Day 2023
Honoring heroes, inspiring gratitude
Veterans walked into John Jay Middle School’s gym to the sounds of hundreds of middle school students clapping and cheering!
That was the beginning of a Veterans Day Assembly that honored heroes, imparted history and inspired gratitude. Because the annual assembly was expanded this year to include the entire student body, it was held in the school’s gymnasium. Respect was palpable; while students and Principal Swiatowicz spoke, it was as quiet as a library.
“A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount up to and including their life,” quoted Principal Jeff Swiatowicz.
A stirring, student-led National Anthem
Pinning Ribbons of Honor on Veterans
A lesson in honor and sacrifice
Students were active participants in the Assembly. Some read poems, others presented a commemorative wreath. One student sang the National Anthem, three scouts held the American flag, and other students—many of them family members of the visiting veterans—pinned Ribbons of Honor onto the honored guests’ lapels.
Many members of the school community contributed pictures of veterans in their family; Librarian Jenn Useted combined them into a moving montage of service that was shown on the gym’s large screen.
“Authentic heroes think of others before themselves,” said Principal Swiatowicz. “Thank you for your service and thank you for being here today.”
For Many visiting veterans, their day at John Jay began with breakfast
For many of the honored guests, their visit to John Jay began with breakfast. The school cafeteria was filled with smiles of pride as veterans of our community and in middle school families shared breakfast with their students. It was a special time for students to get to know their uncles, grandparents, parents, neighbors and community members a little bit more, and learn about their service to our country.
Thank you to JJMS PTO for the breakfast and hospitality, and to the Farmers Grind for the food.