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Concrete Elementary School honors veterans

November 13, 2018

U.S. Army Sgt. Tricia Burtt sings the national anthem Friday to open a Veterans Day assembly at Concrete Elementary School.

CONCRETE — The Concrete Elementary School gym was filled Friday with stars, flags, and plenty of red, white and blue.

While the school usually hosts a Veterans Day assembly, Friday’s event was bigger, with the students welcoming active-duty sailors from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island to help them celebrate.

“Not only veterans around the world, but veterans in our community and veterans on our staff,” said fourth-grade teacher Stephanie Henning.

In her first year as a teacher in Concrete, Henning said she wanted to find a way to make Veterans Day special to the kids and their families, so she called on some of her former co-workers from NAS Whidbey Island to help.

Henning said she hoped the assembly would instill a sense of pride in the students.

“A lot of the kids do have veterans in their families,” Henning said. “So for them to be able to go home and talk about this is special.”

After a short assembly, the students led the military members on a brief parade around the school. Each active duty member carried a banner painted with the symbol of one of the five branches of the U.S. military.

Parents, grandparents and community members who are veterans were also honored with red roses handed out by the students.

“I hope they learn there are a lot of veterans who served in our community,” Principal Jaci Gallagher said.

The school also had a “museum” room set up to display uniforms and helmets from some of the community and staff members.

Eric Cooper, whose son is in first grade, said he attended the assembly this year at his son’s request.

“I think it’s good,” said Cooper, an Army veteran who served tours in Kuwait, Somalia and Iraq. “Our kids need to understand, because it’s going to be them one day, maybe. Hopefully not.”

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