To the Editor:
Heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s Veterans Day celebration at Head O’Meadow a very meaningful one! Over 30 veterans attended our event (family members and family friends of current HOM students), representing service in times of both war and peace from all branches of our nation’s military.
The entire Head O’Meadow staff and student body began Veterans Day outside surrounding our school’s flag pole. The flag was raised by HOM parent and USMC active reservist David Irving, and HOM music teacher Amanda Saperstein led the singing of our national anthem. The hundreds of voices in unison with our veterans encircling the American flag for the Pledge of Allegiance made for a very moving tribute.
The veterans in attendance and their guests were treated to breakfast courtesy of the Head O’Meadow PTA in the school’s cafeteria, made possible in part with donations from Caraluzzi’s and Big Y. During breakfast, the veterans introduced themselves and noted their branch of service, assignments, deployments, and years served. Veterans attending this year represented every major conflict of the modern age, including World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Many of our veterans came in military dress and wore their medals, which was a sight to behold for both our students and staff. Attendees of the breakfast were also treated to a patriotic sing-a-long by Mike Giarrantano, retired US Army and HOM grandparent, on his guitar. Each veteran in attendance received a hand-painted heart of hope from Hearts of Hope Newtown, a pay-it-forward program that spreads hope and kindness to communities and locations across the country.
HOM Principal Barbara Gasparine and HOM Lead Teacher Natalie Hammond each offered remarks expressing our gratitude to veterans and the importance of instilling in our students an appreciation to those who have served in our nation’s military. Dignitaries from both the local government and the local VFW post were also in attendance at our event.
Head O’Meadow is very proud of our tradition of honoring the veterans who are near and dear to our students’ hearts. We thank all those who have served and continue to serve our nation and admire the example of strength, bravery, and courage you set for our young students. We are thrilled that so many of you were able to join us and look forward to seeing you again on Veterans Day next year!
Kristen Mattera and Dawne Kornhaas
Veterans Day Breakfast Co-Chairs
94 Boggs Hill Road, Newtown November 13, 2013