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A Tribute To Service And Sacrifice In North Bellmore

Pictured: Second graders showcased their American flag project and the schoolwide flag quilt.

Photos courtesy of the North Bellmore School District

Donning their red, white and blue and holding miniature flags, students filled out the front lawn of Martin Avenue Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District on May 23 for the inaugural Memorial Day ceremony. The event was filled with patriotic songs, as well as speeches that educated students on the true meaning of the holiday.

“Each individual is responsible for his or her choices and the impact they create,” Principal Dr. Michael Yannucci said. “People we know, family, friends, neighbors, each made choices to serve our country. And what an impact they had. It allowed us the freedom to sit here today, the freedom to go to the beach tomorrow, the freedom to grill on Monday. So, while we’re enjoying some leisurely activities, never forget about the choices some very brave people made and the incredible impact it has made.”

The ceremony began with the raising of the flag. It was then brought down to half-mast to honor all of those who sacrificed their lives to defend the United States. Chorus students then sang the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

The master of ceremonies was school librarian Yvonne Francolini, an Air Force veteran. She spoke about her experience visiting memorials all over the United States and around the world.

A Tribute To Service And Sacrifice In North Bellmore

Students saluted as they listened to Taps.

In front of the podium was a White Table, which is set up in many mess halls at military bases as a tribute to service members who are fallen, missing or held captive. Ms. Francolini described the symbolism of each item including the white table cloth, black napkin, single red rose and inverted glass.

Student reflections from Matthew Asher, Cassie Chen, Sarah Falls and Jackson Laino focused on the history and meaning of Memorial Day. Students learned that the holiday started as Decoration Day in 1868.

Kindergartners, led by music teacher Alexander Roff, sang “Grand Old Flag” and “This Land is Your Land.” All students and staff were asked to join in the schoolwide sing-along of “America” and “God Bless America.” The music presentation concluded with a recording of the military bugle call, Taps.

The inside of the school was decorated with American flag art. Each grade created its own large flag. Every student also contributed a square to a quilt outside of the cafeteria, featuring drawings of the American flag. Dr. Yannucci noted that it showcased the uniqueness of each student and their united belief in the core values of the United States.

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