Freedom rings at Veterans Day musical assembly

Friday Harbor Elementary School Music Teacher Steve Moore knows the keys to honoring veterans — he plays them on the keyboard.

“Music unites people,” said Moore. “The words of these songs represent American citizens’ feelings about their country and these are little citizens — citizens in the making.”

On Thursday, Nov. 10, the 408 members of the FHES student body and about 50 parents and community members gathered to celebrate Veterans Day with songs and stories. Veterans Day is Nov. 11.

Second graders rang handbells during “This Land is Your Land.” Fifth graders played “Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue” on autoharps. A new choir called The Friday Harbor Harmoneers — comprised of 35 second through sixth graders — sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “This is My Country” and “America the Beautiful.”

Children, lined by class, sat cross-legged for a story from veteran Darol Scheffer. When he was a young Army soldier, he left home and his new wife for Vietnam. He didn’t hear of his child’s birth for months.

“I learned some things while in the Army,” said Scheffer “Freedom costs.”

A sixth grader was thankful to hear Scheffer’s testimonial.

“I always wanted to see what soldiers were going through in war,” he said.

Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran Peter DeLorenzi continued the lesson during a flag-folding ceremony. When he explained that a folded American flag represents George Washington’s hat, the gym filled with awes. DeLorenzi has performed the flag-folding ceremony at FHES for about 10 years.

Army veteran Shannon Plummer left students with some advice.

“When you wake up tomorrow, call someone you know who has served and thank them,” said Plummer. “You will touch someone’s heart.”