This year?s program began with the posting of colors by the Veterans of Foreign War Post 4090 Honor Guard. Our pastor, Fr. Larry King opened the assembly with prayer and the elementary students led us in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Senior Emily Bengel sang a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
Our guest speaker, Pastor Dan Stemen from the Church of the Nazarene honored us by taking time out of his busy schedule to attend our program. He shared with us the sacrifices which have been made in the past, including the number of those killed and wounded in battle serving our proud nation. He also graciously and humbly shared his experiences serving in the United States Marine Corps. He closed his presentation with a prayer for those who have and are currently serving in the United States military. I spoke with many of our secondary students and they all agreed his words were very meaningful to them and they were deeply moved by his presentation.
The program continued with student council president Danielle Simon reading the names of military personnel from our parish who are currently serving in the military. This was followed by a flag folding demonstration by sophomores Cammi Schneider and Garrett Pline while Logan Cook explained what each fold of the flag represented. Senior Danielle Simon, winner of the Voice of Democracy contest read her essay, followed by the winner of the Patriot's Pen Contest, Summer Russman. Our first grade students performed a rousing rendition of America the Beautiful.
Deacon Don Sobolewski led us in a closing prayer followed by the retrieval of colors and the playing of TAPS.
Before the veterans left the gym, every St. Patrick secondary student stood in line to shake every veteran?s hand and thank them for their service to our country. This was a moving sight and a great lesson/experience for the students. As the veterans then walked to the parish hall for a reception, they were greeted by flag-waving elementary students lining the halls and thanking them for their service.