By Allison Collins
Area youngsters learned the importance of Veterans Day last Friday, with events at Bainbridge-Guilford’s Greenlawn Elementary, Sidney Central School and Unatego Elementary.
Starting the day off, Greenlawn held its annual veterans breakfast, with roughly 50 servicemen and –women attending.
B-G administrators said the event, which features breakfast served by about a dozen B-G fifth- and sixth-graders and several patriotic student performances, has expanded since its inception three years ago.
“We have about 50 or 60 (veterans) signed up,” Tim Ryan, B-G superintendent, said. “That’s more than last year, so it’s definitely grown. We’re excited.” The first breakfast, he added, saw about 30 participants.
Ryan attributed the rise in attendance to increased promotion across radio, print and social media platforms in the lead-up to the event. Students in grades 2 through 6 participated.
“This is one of the most important things we do to recognize, celebrate and thank veterans in our communities,” Ryan said. “It’s a great thing … and we look forward to this every year.”
Veterans, too, said they anticipate the event.
“It’s really an honor to have them doing this,” Jeff Clinton, a U.S. Navy veteran and repeat attendee from Afton, said. “I appreciate the kids doing things four us and I think they enjoy it, too.”
In Sidney, students in grades K through 2 and 3 through 6 experienced the district’s inaugural Veterans Day assembly, organized by elementary counselor Sam Oliver and community member Larry Halbert. Halbert is a Sidney Rotarian and active member of the Sidney Sons of the American Legion.