WALLENPAUPACK - A bond created forever ago, was shown Friday evening at Wallenpaupack Area High School. When called upon, strangers united for the calling of colors during the annual fourth grade Veteran’s Day program. Together, those who have served marched, as if they had been doing so daily. William Theobald of the Army National Guard and assistant principal at the North Intermediate School explained that the reason their unity continues is that servicemen and women develop a bond that cannot be broken.

Theobald said that marching is the “foundation” of their training, since they must follow orders, trust one another and work as a team. Although some haven’t marched for some time, it is like riding a bike and still being a solider. Through the strangers’ unison, the public saw them as “something more,” which is what Veterans Day is about.

Freedom is an essential component of being an American Theobald said, and so it’s important that people be aware of what freedoms exist, to better understand the Constitution.  

This year, the fourth-grade artists were given a theme of “Veterans we salute you.” With that, they created their own stars that represented their thoughts about veterans. With this task, Principal Amanda Cykosky said the students created something greater than the stars, by approaching their art differently and considering who veterans are and why they’re honored. If not for the sacrifices veterans have made, everyone’s lives would be quite different, so such programs are important as they allow Americans to reflect on what veterans have done.

Through the children’s art, Cykosky said she hoped the adults would realize that despite their differences, they would always be connected by the country’s strengths, unity and appreciation for veterans.

Students in each grade wrote essays relevant to “Veterans we salute you.” The first-place winner from the third grade, Reilly Buselli wrote that veterans have dangerous jobs because they may lose friends and family when they do their job, She imagined that to be “scary.” She thanked veterans for all they have done and is grateful to God that her uncle who is a veteran, is still alive.

Patrick Dickel from the fourth grade thanked veterans for their service because of sacrifices they made. He said the veterans’ actions were “brave” because they risked their lives to protect Americans. Nickel’s grandfather served in World War II and he said the United States won because the soldiers worked together. His grandfather was one, despite being wounded who still preserved because he “was a fighter” who “never gave up.” That is true to all soldiers Dickel said, because they are “fighters who believe in themselves.”

From the fifth grade, Ava Jensen wrote that she is grateful for the sacrifices veterans have made and she is “proud” for the freedoms that exist in the United States because of veterans. The selflessness of veterans, is “amazing” because it meant they were brave and willing to risk their lives for others’ freedom.

The veterans’ sacrifices, Jensen said, are inspiring because she feels safe and is glad to have the freedom she does. Jensen concluded that the “United States of America wouldn’t be the place that it is, if we didn’t have veterans who stand as one and are very brave.”

The essay winners were as follows: Third grade winners: 1st - Reilly Buselli, 2nd - Carly Mayer, 3rd - Gregory Nalesnik; Fourth grade winners: 1st - Patrick Dickel, 2nd - Adam Erb, 3rd - Laila Golshirazi; 5th grade winners: 1st - Ava Jensen, 2nd - Abigail Cykosky, 3rd - Genevieve Neenan.