Freeport – Staff and students at Blackhawk Elementary School are busy preparing to host their annual Veterans Day Celebration, but this year, the event will have some special significance. The school has been designated by the Department of Veteran Affairs as being a Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day 2015.
The Veterans Day National Committee recognizes select Veterans Day observances throughout the country that represent fitting tributes to America’s heroes. Blackhawk teachers Peggy Tell and Jeff Lehman, who also serve as the school’s Veterans Day coordinators, applied to the committee for the designation this past spring. The Veterans Day National Committee meets each May to review applications and select Regional Sites for the current year.
For several years, the students and staff of Blackhawk Elementary School have placed considerable importance in learning about and respectfully celebrating the service of our veterans. The school’s annual Veterans Day Celebration has grown to become an hour-long tribute that honors the veterans in attendance in a variety of ways. The program includes the local Navy J.R.O.T.C. Honor Guard and award-winning Rifle Squad, the Freeport High School Drumline playing military cadences, keynote speakers who are themselves veterans, guest soloists, and an appearance by “Uncle Sam” himself. The highlight is a captivating 20- minute song and dance performance of patriotic music honoring our veterans that is provided by the 320 beautifully ringing voices of Blackhawk’s Kindergarten – 4th grade students. The event serves as the culmination of a lengthy interdisciplinary study of the meaning of Veterans Day in Blackhawk’s classrooms and is enjoyed by all area veterans, with support from the local Allied Veterans Council representing veterans from all branches and conflicts.
The ceremony is set to take place on November 11th at 2:30 PM in the Blackhawk Elementary School gymnasium.