Students at Creve Coeur's Bellerive Elementary School got an early start on plans to honor those who have served the U.S. Armed Forces with a ceremony Friday morning.
With walls in the hallway covered with posters decorated by students, visitors made their way to the gymnasium, where everyone was treated to patriotic music performed by The Clarion Brass Quintet and Bellerive's student chorus. Color Guard duties were handled by the Women's American Legion Post 404.
The audience had a chance to recognize veterans who served in conflicts from World War II to Iraq and were in attendance. They happened to be fathers and grandparents of Bellerive students and they rose to tell the crowd where they served and when. Several were overcome by emotion during parts of the program.
In a poignant exchange, third grade student Ashley Ingrahm, using sign language, read a letter written by her uncle, Chris Nicolaus, a veteran who was out of state and unable to attend.
In other events scheduled for Monday:
- Ross Elementary School students will have a 9:00 a.m. breakfast with veterans followed by a 9:30 a.m. assembly.
- Pattonville High School will have a veterans breakfast and assembly starting at 8:00 a.m. This year, the school will be one of 200 locations around the country reading names of the fallen. It is part of an effort that is the brainchild of metro east war veteran James Sperry, featured recently on KSDK-TV and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Over the course of the day, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., 80 names will be read over the loudspeaker at Pattonville High School's football stadium. It is estimated that more than a million names will be read nationwide.