Tech. Sgt. Amy Lolo musses the hair of her son, Austin, 10, as his father, Master Sgt. Sean Lolo, hugs him after the Veterans Day assembly in Perrysburg. ‘He’s our biggest supporter,’ his mother said.
Parker Smith gently swayed while her small hands tightly gripped a microphone as she sang “Everybody’s Hero” to a gym full of children and veterans at Fort Meigs Elementary Thursday morning.
The rest of the 9-year-old’s fourth-grade class belted the chorus after Parker’s solo, and her grandfather Ken Hohman couldn’t contain his emotions.
“It brought tears to my eyes,” said Mr. Hohman, who was in a U.S. Army communications support unit from 1967 to 1969. “I think the school should be commended for teaching kids what it means to be an American. It is great they make kids aware of what people have sacrificed.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Perrysburg students honor veterans
Fort Meigs Elementary held its annual Veterans Day Ceremony with a breakfast and then an assembly honoring veterans who were family, friends, or neighbors of students. At the assembly, fourth graders sang several patriotic songs, then a few fifth graders read their essays on what the day means to them and gave thanks to the veterans. Dozens of veterans also spoke to the students.
It was the seventh time the school has put on the assembly.
‘As one of the old-timers, it’s my turn to say thank you,’ said Robert Robinson, 90, center, one of the veterans to speak at Fort Meigs school. He served dur-ing World War II. Thursday’s assembly was the seventh held by the school.
Fifth grader Alexis Peats said she feels as if everyone who fearlessly serves in the armed forces is a part of her family because they protect her. In her essay, she said she is thankful for all the “awesome people” who have served.
“I’m too young to vote or have a job, but I’m grateful to be able to have an education,” fifth grader Grace Ermie said in her Exchange Club Patriotism’s Essay winner. “My great-grandfather passed away in February. He was a World War II Marine and was always full of spirit. I think of him on Veterans Day, I miss him very much.”
Amy and Sean Lolo served in the Air Force and are with the National Guard. They were there as their son Austin helped the Fort Meigs’ students honor the veterans.
“The ceremony makes me proud to serve when the younger generation pays tribute to the sacrifice of past people that served,” Master Sgt. Sean Lolo said. “It is very special having my son up there and seeing his class work at learning all the songs for every branch — it makes me feel good inside.”
Matthew Wiley, 9, center, and grandfather Robert Lang are photographed together at Fort Meigs school. Mr. Lang served in the Army special forces from 1956-60.
Principal Scott Best said it is a great opportunity for the teachers to show students how to respect veterans and understand why they need to honor them.
Veteran after veteran spoke about their service time and indicated who invited them to the ceremony. Each generation was represented dating back to the 1930s. Bob Romaker, a World War II veteran, and many of the veterans said they didn’t have a family member at the school but came because every year they thoroughly enjoy the assembly.
Parker said she enjoyed singing for the veterans. She loves spending time with her two veterans in the family, and it showed when she jumped around and proudly waved while her grandfather spoke during the ceremony.
“I can’t thank the staff here enough for all the work they did for this,” Mr. Hohman said.