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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Students pay tribute to area Veterans

Friday, November 9, 2012

East Side Elementary fifth grade students sing "Proud to be an American" at a special Veterans Day program put on by the students on Friday, Nov. 9. Many local veterans were in attendance. [Order this photo]
East Side Elementary celebrated Veterans Day Friday, Nov. 9, at 10 a.m., with a special program from the fifth-grade classes.

All grade levels were present to witness the program performed by Floy Galbriath and Ellen Packard's fifth-grade students. Local veterans and family members were also in attendance.

East Side principal Beth Wernz opened the event by welcoming everyone and telling the students that they'd be "learning about some very important people in our lives."

The students first took turns reading aloud about the history of Veterans Day.

Then the students each read the names of veterans in their families. After each name and ranking was read, Galbriath rung a bell in their honor. The students asked any veterans to stand, and the class led the audience in applause in honor of those veterans present.

Finally, the students, holding up a blanket displaying the American flag, and sang the song "God Bless the USA."

Galbriath and Packard said they put on this program with their students every year, because they both have veterans in their families and feel a sense of patriotism that they want to instill in the students through this program.

"Many of the students didn't realize there were veterans in their families," Galbriath said. "This gives them a chance to recognize those people."

"This program teaches the students a lot about the history of Veterans Day," Packard said.

Tim Paullus, a Vietnam war veteran who also served in the Army National Guard from 1971-96, said he enjoyed the program. Paullus's wife used to be the secretary at East Side and his grandson Mark was one of the fifth-graders participating in the program.

"I liked that they honored each individual family member with the reading of the names and ringing the bell," Paullus said. "It was a really good tribute. And, of course, I always love singing, so I enjoyed the song as well."

Paullus currently has two grandsons who are in the Marine Corps.

Local veterans stand with East Side Elementary students who they know at East Side's Veterans Day program Friday, Nov. 9. The students honored their family members by reading their names aloud during the program. [Order this photo]
Packard and Galbriath said they have been doing this program with their students for the last five or six years, and they hope to continue putting it on in the future.

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