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Students honor veterans at assembly

November 10, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Summitview Elementary School students participated in a patriotic assembly filled with songs, speeches about history, and multimedia presentations Tuesday to pay tribute to veterans.

About 20 former and current members of the military introduced themselves to the crowd during the first of two events at the school. They served in times of war and periods of peace from World War II to present day.

The guest speaker was Command Sgt. Maj. James W. Palmer, who retired from the U.S. Army after 27 years and now works with the Pennsylvania National Guard's 56th Stryker Brigade.

Palmer, who said it's important for children to learn where freedom comes from, presented teacher Brenda Slick with two commemorative coins to thank her for organizing the tributes.

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"Our veterans program is our gift. We give back to the veterans who have paid the debt to be free," Slick said.

Students presented information about the national anthem and Declaration of Independence before singing each. Part of the Declaration of Independence was set to music.

Patrick Zimmerer, 11, dressed in costume and portrayed Thomas Jefferson.

"He was one of the men who was part of the Declaration of Independence and of the writing of it. He's really unique because of his dedication to the country by being president," Patrick said.

Rachel Johnson, 11, shared facts about the bugle call taps.

"It's really important to honor the people who made this country what it is," she said.

Many children raised their hands when Palmer asked if they had written letters to Stryker Brigade soldiers, who returned to the United States from Taji, Iraq, in September.

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