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Darien School Thanks Friends, Family Who Served

DARIEN, Conn. — Ox Ridge School of Darien honored 30 veterans who were family members or close friends of students at its Veterans Day ceremony on Thursday.  The veterans in attendance served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Somalia, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, Afghanistan and Iraq. Generations of grandparents, parents, and children learned about the history of Veterans Day and remembered the sacrifices made by veterans for our country’s freedom.  The festivities began with kindergartners welcoming the veterans by singing “Grand Old Flag” and “America the Beautiful." Student flag-bearers led the veterans in a procession to their seats on stage. Fifth-grader Gaby Highton welcomed the veterans and lead the assembly in the "Pledge of Allegiance."   Assistant Principal Luke Forshaw introduced each of the different branches of service while the fifth graders sang a musical “salute” to each branch. Principal John Rechi asked each veteran to stand as he recognized each individual’s specific accomplishments and service.   From several veterans who served in World War II to present day Army National Guard soldier Kayla Reiner, the veterans on stage covered a span of 70 years. Steve Wilkos, a who served in the Marines from 1982 to 1989 and father of Ruby and Jack Wilkos, moderated a question-and-answer period in with fourth and fifth graders. Sometimes their emotions communicated louder than their words. Brian Seek, who served in the Air Force, Cold War and Vietnam War, said that words could not adequately express how being away from his family and former way of life was for him.  "It was a big deal," he finally said. How do you pay tribute to veterans? Tell us in the comments below.

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