Knox Trail Welcomes Veterans

— Knox Trail Middle School students kicked off the Memorial Day weekend in style, inviting members of the Armed Forces into their school for a breakfast and presentation.

The event included musical selections, patriotic readings from students, and thank-you cards given to veterans. The second-year program also honored police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders who risk their lives to keep residents safe.

For school officials, it’s important to imbue in students the significance of remembering those who gave their lives to defend freedom.

“This assembly allows us to honor our service members and heroes by remembering their courage and dedication,” KTMS Principal Jodi Bourassa told guests at the May 25 event. “Thinking about those here today and those who join us in spirit, one is overwhelmed by the enormity of these people and what they have given. They all rose to the nation’s call to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”

The event was also attended by Spencer State Representative Donald Berthiaume, who served in the Navy. Other veterans in attendance are family members of students and staff members, and they were thrilled to see the school take the time to honor those who served.

“It was very nice of the kids to do this for us. It means a lot to see their support,” said Air Force veteran Phil Harding, who lives in Spencer.

Harding joined his friend, Navy veteran Paul Perron – also from Spencer – during the breakfast portion of the event. The two had plenty of laughs and stories about memorable moments both in town and abroad while serving their country. Other veterans enjoyed the opportunity to meet residents who served in different branches of the military, as well as veterans of different age groups who have several fascinating and inspiring stories to share.

“This event is all about paying tribute to our veterans and remembering everyone who served. It is our way to say thank you,” Bourassa said in an interview.

Schools throughout the area also honored veterans with an array of programs leading up to their towns’ parades on May 29.