More than 60 area veterans spanning several generations were recognized Wednesday during the annual Veterans Day Celebration at Schoharie Elementary School.
The celebration featured music and songs by the Elementary Band, Fourth Grade Choir and the High School Treble Choir.
Veteran Nick Fretto presented the guest of honor – Frank Murphy, who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. At the height of the celebration, Fretto gave Murphy a ‘challenge coin’ commemorating his service.
Veterans were accompanied by elementary students, most often grandchildren or children, and were each recognized before the entire Elementary School student body, staff and faculty, with their names read aloud. After the ceremony, the veterans and their elementary school sponsors were served complimentary refreshments in the cafeteria.
Many of the veterans wore baseball caps, and many of these noted their wearer had served in Vietnam.
“It was very impressive,” said Robert Smith, who was accompanied his granddaughter and grandson.
Smith, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, said he appreciates the efforts of the school, which he said are particularly meaningful to Vietnam War veterans.
“It says a lot to me. It’s nice to be recognized,” Smith said. “It’s like the ‘welcome home’ we never had.”
His granddaughter, Allie, beamed with pride as she sat next to him.
“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “I think it’s cool that our school is honoring the veterans.”
The event is organized by school staff, as well as parent volunteer Heather Fretto.