Kingsbury Country Day School in Addison Township celebrated Veterans Day on Friday with nearly 30 local servicemen.
Veterans who attended Kingsbury’s event fought in conflicts ranging from World War II to the Iraq war.
After being treated to a delicious breakfast, veterans joined teachers and students outside on the chilly November morning for a flag-raising ceremony.
Adam Weiner, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, served as the keynote speaker of the event and reminded students to always try their best, the importance of teamwork and the immense value of freedom.
Weiner spent 14 years in the U.S. Navy where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He spent those years as a Navy SEAL where, among other assignments, he served as Platoon Commander at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One, Operations Officer at SEAL Team One and Executive Officer at SEAL Team Seven.
He was also awarded the Bronze Star with Valor as Mission Commander on a sensitive operation.
“I think it’s fantastic that Kingsbury is doing this. It warms my heart to see it,” Weiner told this reporter. “There is definitely an emphasis here to thank our veterans and to remind us they’re there for our freedom. Freedom is so precious and, unfortunately, it’s too rare universally. It can be hard to appreciate that when it surrounds us and, when you’re in third- or fourth-grade, it may be a foreign concept that some people don’t have freedom.”
Following the ceremony, the veterans shared their experiences with students during a question and answer session.
The K-4 students had the chance to ask veterans all of their burning questions, which ranged from “How was the food in the military?” to “How did you communicate with your family while you were away?”
The Veterans Day celebration at Kingsbury is an annual program, according to Parent Association President Michelle Mineau, who organized the event– and it’s one which allows students to gain a better understanding that serving the country is a sacrifice.
“It’s not about writing a letter or singing a song or doing something without the face-to-face contact for Veterans Day. This really allows the students to hear the veterans’ stories about their service, their hardships and their sacrifice and it helps make those connections for the kids… that they made those sacrifices for their country. It’s great for our students to be able to hear it straight from our veterans,” said Mineau.