The East Haddam Board of Education decided a few years ago to remain open on the Veterans Day holiday. While some questioned the concept then, today the entire community embraces the day and all the festivities the schools plan to honor our veterans.
The idea was to not only teach our students the meaning of Veterans Day but to experience it live. Many of our community, family and friends are veterans. Some are retired and some still on active duty. Each year our graduating class has members who opt to join the forces over going straight into college. Inviting our local veterans to visit the schools on this important day is our way to honor all these brave men and women.
Each school has different activities planned. The Elementary School invites veterans to lunch, where they are fed a nice meal and get to sit with our youngest students and talk to them about what it is like to be a soldier or sailor. The Middle School brings in guests for a welcome breakfast and then a flag raising ceremony. Each class incorporates the history of the day into the curriculum. The High School also has a flag raising ceremony in the morning and an all-school assembly that invites veterans to speak about serving our country.
For the students of East Haddam, Veterans Day is not a free day off, it has meaning and an educational opportunity only found by speaking and listening to the men and women who the nation honors today.