Each year, Moore Elementary School holds a Veterans Day celebration to honor all of the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces while paying tribute to local heroes.
On Friday, November 10, Moore Elementary celebrated their 11th annual Veterans Day event, which began in 2012, and—aside from 2020 when students learned remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic—has been a memorable day that veterans, students, staff and teachers look forward to every year.
After a welcome breakfast sponsored by Aramark and the Moore Elementary PTA, veterans, students, staff and teachers gathered in the gym for opening ceremonies.
Katy Dremock, a math teacher at Moore Elementary who spearheads the event every year, and Principal Curtis L. Dimmick provided opening remarks about the event and Veterans Day. Then, the NAHS orchestra performed songs for veterans and students, students sang a song they had practiced for the veterans and students got to watch a presentation of colors while the song from each branch of the military was played and veterans from the Palmerton American Legion presented the flag for each branch. They also got to play a game where six veterans and six students were teamed up and had to answer trivia questions about Veterans Day such as “Which patriotic song is this?” “What flag is this?” and “What symbol is this?” before they dispersed to the watch five veteran presentations throughout the day.
Students patiently and intently listened to veterans as they presented information about the military, the branch they served in, deployments, duty stations and what their lives and jobs were like while serving, jumping excitedly to ask questions and answer questions that the veterans quizzed them on.
This year, Moore Elementary welcomed 15 veterans including: Fred Branyan (Army); John Buskey (Navy); Anthony Federico (Army); David Dimmick (Air Force); Scott Geiger (Marine Corps); Tim Hageman (Navy); Rick Hageman (Navy); Randy Hogue (Air Force); Samantha Hogue (Air Force); Chris Licini (Marine Corps); Zach Mako (National Guard); Brian Radcliffe (Navy); Terry Schaffer (Army); John Schmoyer (Army); Chance Trapp (Army/Marine Corps); and Lawrence Walpole (Marine Corps).
Veteran Samantha Hogue served in the U.S. Air Force from 2007 to 2013. During her presentation, she described what basic military training was like to the children, including all the pushups, practicing formations and how BMT trains everyone to work together as a team, while also engaging them by asking questions about what they think happens during BMT.
Hogue also showed students a flak vest and ABU/DCU uniforms, while allowing them to pass them around to look at, shared stories about some of the things she experienced in the military and answered questions from the children about topics such as going AWOL and military regulations like female hair regulations and how the military doesn’t make females shave their heads during BMT.
Students seemed to thoroughly enjoy Hogue’s story about being invited to a palace in Saudi Arabia and riding a camel during one of her deployments.
Veteran Anthony Federico served in the U.S. Army from 2003 to 2015. During his presentation, he told students about his deployments to Qatar, Iraq and Afghanistan, shared photos and had the children guess what kinds of things the military has to take with them on deployments. Students shouted their answers in excitement before Federico told them about how the military also has to take physical monies with them and why, which was what his job as a finance soldier entailed.
Students had lots of questions for Federico that he patiently answered such as if he got paid more because he was in charge of $2 million in cash overseas, what would happen if he lost some or all of the money and whether or not he did, what his happiest memory was, what the most painful thing he did in the military was and whether he actually “fought over there.”
Veteran Tim Hageman served in the U.S. Navy from 1993 to 1997. During his presentation, he told students about his job as a food service chef, showed them pictures of naval aircraft carriers and played videos of aircrafts landing on the ship, as well as what naval culinary specialists are tasked with aboard the ship.
Hageman then asked students to point out all of the different shirt colors they saw during the videos and then informed them of what each shirt color represented and what jobs each of them performed.
Students were thrilled to ask Hageman questions about what happens if a ship crashes, if girls can join the military, how the ships float and how the planes land on the aircraft carriers, and when Hageman asked them who was interested in joining the Navy or any branch of the military, quite a few hands shot up.
At the end of the day, Moore Elementary students were full of patriotic pride as they paraded around the school before listening to closing remarks from Principal Dimmick, listening to “Taps” played on the trumpet, and watching as the flag was lowered, folded and presented by veterans Chris Licini, Brian Radcliffe and Tim Hageman.
“The kids really like the Veterans Day celebration. It’s neat that we have so many presenters and five or six of the veterans come back every year. Some of the kids get to see them multiple times over the course of their time here, so the veterans try to change it up, and then we had some new veterans this year too, which was great!” Dimmick enthused.
Although the day is a fun-filled celebration, it also allows children to get to know and connect with veterans, while simultaneously teaching them about the military, its customs and veterans, which unfolds as such a memorable event for everyone involved, and somehow, each year seems to be more successful than the last.
All in all, the Moore Elementary Veterans Day celebration is a thoughtful and tremendous way to thank local veterans for the sacrifices they made during their service to this country, which students, veterans, staff and teachers all thoroughly enjoy.