Powerful lessons about Memorial Day

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Everything we have in our lives is due to the fact that we are protected by soldiers who have dedicated their lives to us."

These were among the many words read by students Friday at a solemn ceremony of remembrance at the St. Mary Catholic School in Schwenksville, Pa.

Veterans from all the services and from wars long ago attended the assembly. Among the tributes, original essays from the student body.

"We need to show our military and their families how much we care and how much we are indebted to them," said seventh grader Cassandra McHugh.

"They have given their lives on battlefields near and far so that we may stand here today gathered in a church with freedom to speak and assemble," said seventh grader Timmy Freed.

The list of veterans' organizations and local businesses is too long to list in this story. But rest assured that outfits from Boyertown to Norristown and Reading contributed to Friday's event.

The backers of the program know the Memorial Day holiday weekend is full of barbecues, beach parties and all sort of retail hype. So they were determined to kick it off by paying tribute to those Americans who paid the ultimate price to maintain our good times.

The event brought many of the aging veterans to tears.

"I'm very proud of these kids. It breaks your heart, you're so proud of them," said Marine Corps veteran John Richards.

"It puts a tear in your eye. The adults, the children, anybody who participated in it, it brings back memories, good and bad," said Navy veteran George Heller.

And the thoughts of random student body members:

"We should be proud of our freedom and honor everybody who's fighting for us now and who have died for us," seventh grader Amy Zurowski told Action News.

"We should be proud of what we have because people sacrificed for America," said seventh grader Kevin Stanton.

A somber day at school Friday, a day full of powerful lessons.

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pennsylvania, memorial day, montgomery county, local/state, vernon odom
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