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Traphagen Elementary School Commemorates America’s Veterans

Traphagen Elementary School honored America’s veterans Friday as a prelude to the upcoming national holiday on November 11. The observance paid tribute to the patriotic heroism displayed by men and women who have served in the Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines, and Special Forces.

“For the past 22 years, Traphagen students, faculty, and staff have paid tribute to the city of Mount Vernon’s service men and women through poetry, essays, and music,” said Charlotte Moore, a Traphagen music teacher who was part of the planning committee. “The   aim of this annual assembly is to expand students’ understanding of how and why patriotism, courage, and heroic acts are significant in American life.”

Traphagen fifth and seventh grade students wrote original essays on the true meaning of Veterans Day, and in doing so, recognized important lessons about self-sacrifice and teamwork.  As the entire school gathered in the large gymnasium, all listened intently to Veterans speak from personal experiences about what military service has meant to them and their families.

“Eyes welled up with tears around the room, as staff, administration, and parents watched their most precious resource – Mount Vernon students pay tribute – to all who have given their time and talents to protect our nation,” added Moore.

Encore and core curriculum teachers who comprised the planning committee included: Moore, Ellen Saligumba (art), Sally Manganiello (fifth Grade), Erin Langton (kindergarten), Julianne Hallock-Deluca (first grade), Megan Carlisto, (resource), and various support staff.

The hour-long assembly program featured original student essays and patriotic poems read by the students themselves, several musical selections rendered by Traphagen’s Intergenerational Chorus, and a rendition of the National Anthem performed by Traphagen speech teacher, Sandra LoPresti.  The entire assembly was officiated by fifth, sixth and seventh grade students, and was attended by several dignitaries including Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, Board of Education members, and the Commissioner of Veteran Affairs, Krysten Reed, who addressed the crowd. The Assembly concluded with a moment of silence followed by a parade of vigorously waving red, white, and blue star-spangled flags.