Click here to see video of the Veterans Day Ceremony
In honor of Veterans Day, the students of Cedar Hill Elementary School in Montville Township, New Jersey, shared a full day of commemoration and gratitude on Friday, November 18, 2022.
The 329 students welcomed the active duty and retired service men and women to the Cedar Hill community. The students, who range in age from kindergarten to grade 5, spent more than a month preparing the school for the Veterans Day event.
More than 30 service men and women were greeted by extensive decorations and a feast. Students were able to spend time talking with the veterans as they toured the school, enjoying the students’ artwork and classroom door decorations. Students and faculty went all out, displaying red, white, and blue lights entwined with original artwork.
Following lunch, the veterans walked a red carpet of construction paper to the Cedar Hill Gymnasium. The Fifth Grade Character Education Committee led the procession. During the procession, all students stood in silence holding flags as the veterans passed. The Flag Attendants for the procession were Fifth Grade Character Education Committee members Maya Ciccone and P. J. Conturso.
Once in the gymnasium the veterans sat in a place of honor as Ciccone, Conturso and other Fifth Grade Character Education Committee members led a ceremony of honor. Parker Walsh led the pledge of Allegiance, Emma Rachwal sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” Emilia Ponikowski sang “God Bless America,” and Nathaniel Krauskopf welcomed Honored Guests.
Kindergarten and first grade students sang, “This Land is Your Land,” second and third grade students sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and fourth and fifth grade students sang “The Brave.”
Vocal music teacher Jonathan Russo accompanied the singers.
Emilia Simek, Harper Berkman and Luke Abelson announced each of the patriotic songs.
Then Quinn Haltmeier recited patriotic poetry, Amelia Ospina and the Fifth Grade Character Education Committee recognized those veterans who were in attendance, Sofia Secada made the closing remarks, and Sofia Pisano introduced TAPS and a moment of silence.
Following the ceremony all 329 Cedar Hill Elementary School students silently processed out of the Gym and back their classrooms.
Teacher Trudy Cappola organized the event leading the committee of parents, students and faculty who made the extremely special event possible.
The veterans in attendance included service men and women from all American military engagements since WWII, including active duty military personnel.
“This is our first Veterans Day program in two years,” Cedar Hill Principal Michael Raj announced.
Raj explained that it is one of the most important traditions at Cedar Hill, and that everyone was grateful and honored to be able to hold the ceremony for those veterans in attendance.
“The reason we thank veterans,” Raj explained, “is because they have made sacrifices and continue to make sacrifices, fighting wars for us, to protect our freedoms, in the hopes that you never have to. And we hope that no one here ever has to answer the call, because of what these people have done to protect us.”
Many of the audience members remarked how moving the Cedar Hill Veterans Day ceremony is, and several veterans expressed gratitude for the event.
The Cedar Hill students and staff prepared all month to present this ceremony of honor to the community’s veterans.
The full Cedar Hill Elementary School 2022 Veterans Day Ceremony can be viewed on the Montville Township Public Schools YouTube Channel. Additional photos of the event are also included in the video.