The annual Veterans Day assembly at Holley Elementary School on Nov. 9 featured patriotic music, veterans and lots of red, white and blue. A group of local veterans from the American Legion and VFW posted and retired the colors to begin and end the assembly. Many local veterans were in attendance, representing all four branches of the military. The Elementary Chorus sang while the Elementary Band played the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Chorus also sang “Every Day in America” and “Thank You, Soldiers.” The Band played “Eagle Command March.” Pre-K students sang “See the Veterans” while they signed the song in American Sign Language.
Students led the assembly, sharing the podium with guest speakers. Several students participated in the reading of the poem “A Veteran is.” Physical education teacher Lori Passarell read the poem “Veterans Day”; her son, Cody, is currently in the Air Force.
The featured guest speaker was Holley Elementary C.O.P. Security Officer Chris Vigliotti, a veteran of the Marines and retired Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy. He is also a volunteer and past employee of the Veterans Outreach Center. He gave students the definition of a veteran: any member of the military who worked in any branch of the military for any length of time. “Veterans, or heroes, as I like to call them, thank you for protecting our freedoms, thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice,” said Vigliotti. “Holley folks are very patriotic, passionate and dedicated to their country. I have always been impressed by that.” As an example of this, he called out elementary students and sisters Koryn and Kayla Neale for their creation and collection of items for Care Packs that they distribute to veterans at the Holley VFW and American Legion Hall in November. He told them that they are now his sisters in his military family. He concluded his speech by saying, “Freedom isn’t free – remember that. Thank our vets not only on Veterans Day, but every day.”