By Rob Glidden
During its annual Veterans Day celebration, Derynoski Elementary School unveiled a new tile mural in the building’s lobby which pays tribute to the armed forces.
Named “The Wall of Heroes,” the mosaic honors each branch of the military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the Marines – and also incorporates yellow ribbons adorned with the names of local veterans.
“It really came out great,” said art teacher Michelle Ginand. “The kids worked really hard on putting it together.”
The Friday assembly at Derynoski was just one of many held in all of the Southington schools to observe Veterans Day. Several area veterans attended and each was recognized by name and invited to the stage.
“It was outstanding,” said Wayne White, an E4 Army Specialist who served in Vietnam. “The students did a wonderful job. We get tremendous support from the schools here.”
Students in the school’s band played several patriotic songs while young readers took the stage and described the duties of each branch of the armed forces. When the veterans were invited on stage, each was escorted by a student.
“It was more cheerful than I thought it would be,” said fifth-grader Amanda Maud, one of the student escorts.
The school also gave a donation to the Connecticut State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill. Administrator Margaret Concannon was present at the assembly to accept it.
“This was a tremendous program and we want to thank the students and teachers here,” she said.
The Veterans Day event had three parts – the first was the assembly in the auditorium and the second was the unveiling of the tile mural. The final activity took place inside individual classrooms, where the book “The White Table” was read aloud.
“Every child that leaves the school has an understanding of veterans and the service they give to the country,” said Derynoski principal Jan Verderame. “We make sure of that.”