On Nov. 14, the Willow Grove School K-Kids in Hackettstown, the only Distinguished K-Kids in the New Jersey District, held its third annual tribute to veterans of the Hackettstown community. 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.
David Mango, superintendent of Schools, introduced the 19 honorees; 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. Guest speaker Michael Tyler, of the U.S. Army who served five deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, presented.
K-Kids members presented cards and letters to the special honorees. 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.