Veterans Day 2021

King Street honors veterans with special ceremony

A beautiful day prevailed for a special ceremony as members of King Street Elementary School honored local veterans.  

Under blue skies, a bright sun and a soft breeze, the King Street community gathered outside. Songs were sung, speeches were given, and students were reminded what and, most importantly, who is celebrated on Nov. 11. The celebration’s special guests were veterans who were family members of students.

After Principal Sam Ortiz welcomed guests, the school’s Girl Scouts led the assembly with the Pledge of Allegiance. 

“What we hope to do today is to help you learn the meaning of this great holiday,” Mr. Ortiz said. “Each year on Nov. 11, we come together to say, ‘thank you’ for their service and for the courage they have shown. Those who have served are very brave and deserve our respect."

Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez said that the day reminds her of her father, who served in the United States Army.

“He instilled in us a pride in being Americans and also taught us it’s important to be involved in something bigger than ourselves,” she said.

County Executive George Latimer talked about the sacrifices that veterans have made.

“They went into the middle of danger where they could have been killed or hurt," he said. "They did it for you and me. When we praise them, it's not just clapping - it comes from the heart.”

Among the other dignitaries who spoke during the celebration were Port Chester Village Trustee Allen Payon, County Legislator Nancy Barr, State Senator Shelley Mayer and New York Assemblyman Steve Otis.

King Street students continued the tradition of passing out yellow roses to their family members in attendance who served. 

The ceremony concluded with the King Street Choir performing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “God Bless America.”

Students and their guest then enjoyed breakfast together.

“This is a really nice ceremony,” said Bill Perkins, an Army veteran who was there with his granddaughter. This was his first time attending the ceremony. He had drove in from New Hampshire to visit family and attend with his granddaughter. “I’m happy to have made it here today."

Click here to view a video of the celebration.

Sharing a powerful message for Veterans Day

The room was quiet as art students at John F. Kennedy Elementary School drew American flags, soldiers and wrote messages of appreciation for the sacrifices veterans made.

The students were concentrating on creating a special project. Fifth-graders throughout the district created posters for Veterans Day that will be featured as part of an art show. It will be displayed at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library and the Port Chester VFW/American Legion through Nov. 19.

The project provided an opportunity for students to learn more about veterans and why we celebrate Veterans Day. It was also a way to incorporate a specific kind of art into their curriculum. Students learned about functional art and graphic artists.

“It’s supposed to look good and say something,” art teacher Chrystal Chambers told students.

Looking around the room, the students noticed logos on their clothing and labels on a container of disinfectant wipes and were able to identify them as examples of functional art.

“It’s kind of important how it looks, but more important what it communicates,” Ms. Chambers said.

Prior to students getting to work, they discussed with their teacher who veterans are. Students said they were men and women who helped fight for land, justice, freedom, laws and peace.“You are making a poster in honor of Veterans Day,” Ms. Chambers said.

“I thought to do a flag,” Michelle Guadalupe Guerra Ortega said about her poster. “It would say something so everyone knows about veterans.”

Michelle said she also planned to add some of her own writing to her poster explaining why veterans deserve our respect.

In his poster, Bryan Cruz also incorporated a flag and two soldiers, one of whom was giving the command, “Go, go, go!”

“I wanted to draw a soldier telling another soldier what to do,” he said.

Jayden Alvarez drew a large heart with stripes that would look like an American flag. In the space where the stars are, he drew a soldier.

“I’m putting a soldier where the stars should be to show the soldiers respect,” he said. “I was going to write about how we should celebrate Veterans Day and why we should appreciate soldiers.”

Ms. Chambers had contacted the commander of the local American Legion and reached out to the library. Both organizations, she said, were more than happy to display the students’ work.

“A day off from school is nice, but we want students to learn about why we do it,” she said of Veterans Day.

The work by the district’s fifth-graders will be on display at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library, 1 Haseco Ave., and the Port Chester VFW/American Legion, 78 Pearl St., through Nov. 19.

King Street Celebrates Veterans Day

District-wide Veterans Day Art Show runs through Nov. 19, 2021