Meaning of Veterans Day comes to Emerald Heights
By STEVEN DEDUAL
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
November 12, 2009 · Updated 3:29 PM
Emerald Heights Elementary School has a lot of ties to the military.
More than 51 percent of the students who attend the school are military dependents.
“We have a large community-based military,” said Lori D’Arienzo, learning specialist at Emerald Heights Elementary. “It rules what we do around here.”
On Tuesday, the school invited Marines, sailors and soldiers to attend a Veterans Day assembly in the school’s gym.
Navy Capt. Vern Kemper gave a short speech on the meaning of Veterans Day and got the students involved by asking them questions.
While just less than half of the students have military-based parents, when Kemper asked the military students to stand, every child in the gym stood up.
“I think it’s great,” D’Arienzo said. “Even the kids are united.”
Kemper told the children that Veterans Day is not just about their family members in the military, but about each of them as well.
“You are all veterans,” he said. “You are all an important part of our military.”
A chief from the USS Henry M. Jackson, homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, read the poem “Old Glory” to the crowd while a mixed unit of Army, Navy and Marine Corps personnel presented a flag detail.
Children of every grade watched intently as the flag was slowly passed from one person to another during the reading.
D’Arienzo said the school works hard to not only make military families feel appreciated and welcome, but also to make life easier for military families who are constantly moving.
“We try to make it an easy transition for parents coming in and parents moving out,” she said.Contact Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer Steven DeDual at email@example.com or (360) 308-9161.