Patriotism Lives at Lafayette Regional Elementary School

Just as they did years ago when they answered the call to serve our country in the various branches of our US military, local northern Grafton County veterans answered the call again, but this time, by accepting an invitation, and attending an event by the students and school staff as recipients of a “Thank You Tribute to our Veterans.”

The vets were honored as part of the schools “We Salute Our Veterans” in the school auditorium.

In-coming Principal, Amy Kopp, along with SAU 35 Superintendent, Kate Segal, welcomed all for this first-of-a-kind event at Lafayette, held on Monday, November 13, 2023. I know I’ve never witnessed this event at this school in the 20 years I’ve lived here.

Many thanks are being extended to the classroom teachers, classroom paras and subs, the multi-talented librarian, the gracious music teacher, the “Coast Guard vet” custodian, the school secretary and office staff, and the cafeteria chef who is also a vet! It seems from the outcome of this marvelous display of gratitude and patriotism by the students and staff… all involved devoted much time and effort in making this tribute such a warm, wonderful, and meaningful event, not only for the vets, but more importantly, for the impressionable, young students.

It was refreshing to see the entire student body stand, place their hands over the hearts, and recite The Pledge of Allegiance to our American Flag. Great job, kids!!

One could tell that the music teacher spent considerable time leading the Lafayette School Chorus in singing a Thank You Tribute entitled “The Brave” written by John Riggio. Another wonderful expression of Thank You to the vets was played by the Lafayette School Band, and led by the same music teacher. The selections which were played included “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Ode to Joy/Conquest,” which went off without a hitch! Who knows…someday, these same students may be playing in the US Army Band, or the US Navy Band, or the US Air Force Band? And, to think, it may have all started here in little Franconia Elementary.

“Thank You” letters, written by the students themselves, and read to the assembled audience via a microphone, promoted some self-confidence in these students! Maybe, a Presidential candidate will someday spawn from that courageous reading!?

The final “Thank You” by the kids to the vets was a memorable march around the auditorium with the kids waving and shouting “Thank You” to the vets.

All in all, this “Thank You Salute” by the students and staff of Lafayette Elementary School left this vet with the view that there is still hope for the kind of America envisioned by our Founding Fathers centuries ago.

The students’ display of patriotism should be a model for other New Hampshire school boards and town boards to emulate.

Nick De Mayo, M. Ed., QM-3, USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67), Navigation, Plank Owner Sugar Hill, NH (603) 823-9816