Rivergate Honors Veterans With Music and More

While most children have no school on Veteran’s Day, students of Rivergate Adventist Elementary in Gladstone, Ore., spent the day a little differently. In keeping with a school tradition reaching back more than a decade, the students presented a music and recitation program on Nov. 11, 2008, to celebrate the patriotic sacrifice of America’s veterans.

After a formal flag presentation by local veterans, students contributed to performances, including a choral presentation of each armed force’s song, signing to music and reciting patriotic poems.

Four fifth- and sixth-grade students, who formed a band called Three Plus One, performed an original composition for voice and piano. “I like remembering the veterans and what they did for us,” explains Griffin Leek, the sixth-grade student who wrote the piano portion of the piece.

Wade Byers, Gladstone mayor, spoke to the assembly. The kindergarten class gave flowers to the more than 30 veterans who attended.

Ann Campbell, principal, believes the celebration better enhances students’ understanding of Veteran’s Day more than having a day without school. “Freedom comes with a price,” Campbell says. “This program is a great way to teach our students about patriotism, love and service to our country and gives them a chance to say ‘thank you’ to our veterans.”

Shylla Gessele, a sixth-grade student who shared the day with her great-grandpa and stepfather, both Navy veterans, agreed. “We got to honor veterans and make them proud.”

March 01, 2009 / Oregon Conference