The Willow Grove School K-Kids in Hackettstown, the only Distinguished K-Kids in the New Jersey District, held their third annual tribute to veterans of the Hackettstown community on Nov. 14. Orchestrated by School Nurse/Faculty Advisor Robin Gibbon, the heartwarming ceremony was greatly appreciated.
The visitors attending the ceremony approached the main entrance walkway lined with a myriad of American flags. The ceremony began with an “Amazing Grace Bagpipes” video followed by the Hackettstown American Legion Honor Guard presenting the colors. Then, after a few welcoming remarks by Robin Gibbon, all recited the “Pledge of Allegiance” followed by the “National Anthem sung by the Hackettstown High School Choral Group.
Then, after a few welcoming words by David Mango, Superintendent of Schools, the 19 honorees were introduced. When announced, each veteran approached the podium where their service record was read and they were joined by their child, grandchild, niece or nephew for a photo opportunity. This was followed by a “Thank You Soldiers” video which preceded the guest speaker Michael Tyler, of the U.S. Army who served five deployments: Iraq (three times), Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Afterwards, the K-Kids members presented cards and letters to the special honorees. In closing, the video “God Bless the U.S.A.” was shown with closing remarks by Robin Gibbon and the retiring of the colors by the Color Guard. This ceremony was a very touching tribute that imbued the entire student body with a sense of patriotism and one that left the veterans feeling very proud of their service to our country.