Vets, Military Honored at Moore Elementary School

VETERANS were given an early breakfast, and later, lunch.

By BILL HALBFOERSTER
Veterans Day was given special significance to students of the Moore Elementary School on Friday when veterans of the armed forces participated in an all-day event with them.
It started with a breakfast in the school’s all-purpose room when, in true military style, they lined up for “chow”, and it was served to them by Cub Scouts donning chef hats. The breakfast was provided by the school and the Moore Elementary PTA.
After the early breakfast, the veterans lined up in the lobby of the school as busload after busload of youngsters came through the doors to say, “Good Morning.” Many of them shook hands or slapped “high fives” with the veterans as they welcomed the youngsters.
Throughout the morning, more than 25 veterans, some wearing their original dress uniforms, or combat fatigues, others who are members of area American Legion posts, went from classroom to classroom telling of their experiences. Most of them served during the Vietnam War era, although a few had served in World War II and the war in Korea.
At lunch, the students ate with the veterans. Some of them stayed around for an early afternoon program when Congressman Charlie Dent came to speak to the 4th, 5th and 6th grade boys and girls. He told them how Armistice Day of World War I marked the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and it evolved into the present Veterans Day. He singled out Col. Robert M. Balcavage, U.S. Army, who had served in Afghanistan and is now assigned to the Army War College at Carlisle.
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“It’s important that we remember our history.”
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He was among the veterans, and who earlier said at an assembly of the full student body, “It’s important that we remember our history.” As scenes of servicemen and women were shown on a projection screen, some of whom he served with in Afghanistan, Col. Balcavage asked the students to ”Pray for their safety so they can come home to their families.”
Cong. Dent said the men and women in the military make tremendous sacrifices, thousands lost their lives in every war that was ever fought, and that families at home had to sacrifice as well. He also remarked that the Coast Guard is an important branch, and its members provided relief to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.
He answered many of the students’ questions, one girl telling him that her great-grandfather was a member of the Flying Tigers during World War II. When a teacher asked about Congress and their relationship to the armed forces, Cong. Dent said that they provide the funds for weapons, armor, planes, health care, and supplies that they need both in war and peacetime. In effect, he said, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, “Congress provides the resources the military needs.”
He told the children about the Secretary of the Army, Navy and Defense, who are civilians; the President, who is commander-in-chief; and that there are 435 members in the House.
Just re-elected on Tuesday, Cong. Dent said, “Now we have to go about business and work together.” In closing, he asked that the children say “Thank You” whenever they see a veteran, for the service they’ve given to their country.
After that program, the younger children went down to the gymnasium for a laser light show that featured American history, and included the song, “I’m Proud To Be An American.”
Also part of the day’s activities was a demonstration on how to fold the nation’s flag, led by members of American Legion Post #269 in Palmerton along with sixth grade students. . . .Allentown’s Dieruff High School R.O.T.C. Drill Team also displayed what they do in competition with rifles.
The day ended with a lowering of the school flag outside, as the children gathered around it following a parade around the school, all of them holding miniature American flags to wave.
As Moore Elementary School Principal Curtis Dimmick remarked about the days’ observance: “We felt we needed to do something to give them {the students] better knowledge and understanding of what Veterans Day is all about.” They succeeded, as the youngsters’ spirit shown brightly.

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