By Megann Horstead | For The Sentinel
The struggles and experiences braved by the many men and women who served in the military commonly go untold. What’s more is the work of veterans often goes without thanks during the year.
One Shorewood school prides itself on working to change that.
The sacrifices made by veterans were recently recognized during Troy Hofer Elementary School’s fifth annual Veterans Day celebration.
Enter the gymnasium, a program commenced in honor of those who served for students, teachers, staff members, veterans and other community members who filled the space from wall to wall. There, people enjoyed a presentation of colors and participated in both the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.
“This is a very special day for us,” Troy Hofer School Principal Kristin Copes told the crowd. “The kids have worked really hard [to prepare for this program.] We’re so honored to have [veterans] here.”
A parade of the school’s kindergarten classes kicked off to the tune of bagpipes, with children and their teachers donning patriotic outfits and accessories. Members of the audience snapped pictures as they marched around the perimeter of the gymnasium.
Copes took time to recognize veterans from each military branch in attendance for the celebration and asked each one to share their name and identify the Troy Hofer School student/students they are related to. Among the people honored were those who served and represented the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Between each of the presentations by which veterans were recognized according to their military branch, a teacher at each grade level and their students recited from a passage in honor of their service.
The program concluded with the singing of “America the Beautiful” by Katherine Lee Bates, followed by a retirement of the colors and the recital of a poem.
Richard Morgan, of Shorewood, said the Veterans Day celebration at Troy Hofer School never ceases to please him.
“I’ve been coming here for five years, and it’s very nice,” he said.
The celebration has a lot of meaning for Morgan. He served in the military, and is the grandfather of Troy Hofer School student Summer Schmid.
Morgan said he likes the way the celebration enables him “to see the grandkids and see them appreciate the services [sacrificed by those who serve.]”
Cheri Packard, also of Shorewood, said it is always a pleasure to sit in on the program with Morgan.
“It’s moving for me, not only for him but for my dad,” she said. “My dad was in the Army Air Corp in World War II. As I watched [the program]—this was my fifth year—I thought to myself, ‘I wish that they had done this when I was in school, and my dad could’ve come because I think he would’ve been so proud.’”
Copes wanted to thank everyone who came out for this year’s Veterans Day celebration.
More than 50 veterans were on hand for the program.