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Veterans Day comes early to Wolfle

KINGSTON — It wasn’t Veterans Day quite yet, but it sure felt like it.

Old Glory flew proudly while the entire student body at Wolfle Elementary participated in the school’s annual celebration of those who have served. The event, held Thursday afternoon in the gymnasium, is a tradition at Wolfle, said principal Ben Degnin.

“This assembly has been going on since day one,” he said. “We want children at our school to know that freedom is not free. We have to instill that into our children. In America we take a lot of things for granted. Freedom does come at a cost.”

Degnin said there’s a strong military presence in North Kitsap and paying tribute to it is vital.

“There’s a big military presence in this particular area of Washington,” he said. “It’s an important part of all our lives.”

Wolfle Veterans Day assembly coordinator Marsha Rova said she was proud the school honors its veterans in such fashion.

“We do this every year,” she said. “We’re honoring veterans for what they did for us. Many of these children have family who are veterans or who are in the military.”

During a Powerpoint presentation portion of the assembly, a large contingent of Wolfle fifth graders’ creative skills were put on display for the audience. Audio commentary from fifth graders, accompanied by their artwork, was played for those in attendance to see and hear. Following the multimedia presentation, the Wolfle choir sang a myriad of songs honoring vets.

“In the past we’ve had posters and pictures on the wall,” Degnin said. “With the Powerpoint presentation... I think it makes more of an impact on kids and helps communicate the message better to them. It gets the message we want across.”

Fourth grader Ben Reed said the assembly gave him something to think about.

“It’s cool that some of the vets come here. It’s pretty cool to see people who served our country,” he said.

John Michaud, who’s daughter Sydney is currently in the first grade, served in the United States Marine Corps from 1987-1993. Michaud said he believes Veterans Day is one of the most necessary holidays of the year.

“I think it’s important for people to realize why our country is free. It’s free because people fought for it,” he said. “It’s important for kids to understand that. I don’t think kids get a whole lot of exposure to the military like they used to.”

Michaud said regardless of whether people support the war in Iraq, they should always back the troops.

“It’s important for everyone to support the troops. They’re just doing their job and doing what they’re told to do,” he said. “I’ve been there. That’s why our military is so successful.”

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