When children at Dagsboro’s Lighthouse Christian School took to the stage on Nov. 8, they had one message: Thank you.
The annual Veterans Day program, “Caring for Our Veterans,” included student songs, poems and prayers to honor the dozens of veterans and active military who attended.
“My hope is that we are raising up a generation that remembers and thanks a veteran for your service,” Lighthouse Director Terri Menoche said passionately. “Today you will not leave without being thanked.”
U.S. Army veteran Danny Wright even rearranged his scheduled so he could finally attend the Lighthouse program.
“It was absolutely wonderful,” said Wright, noting that his favorite part was the children. Wright was drafted during the Vietnam War but remained stateside, while his brother was sent overseas.
“When we came out, we got no support. … Today the support of the American people is great,” said Dennis Daniels, commander of American Legion Post 24 in Dagsboro and also a Vietnam War veteran. “Just the way the kids learned what it means sacrifice of our soldiers … what our country means. The whole school is geared toward the American way of life.”
He said he was also happy to see young airmen from Dover Air Force Base, who gave a standing ovation to the “Fifty Nifty” United States song, which recognized their own home states.
Three canine guests shared the stage, brought to the U.S. by the Puppy Rescue Mission and Navy Master Chief Todd Schroeder.
When rescued from euthanasia on military bases, the dogs go “from being our best friends in the combat zone to being our best friends at home,” Schroeder said. “To pet a dog, it’s unbelievably comforting.”
Having visited 38 countries and seen socialism, communism and tyranny, Schroeder said, “Please never forget that we are exceptional as Americans, and that’s given to us by God. … You guys as Americans are family to soldiers like myself. … Please never forget that. We share a bond with you.”
Students and guests also heard about the many services of American Legion Post 28 Auxiliary in Oak Orchard from President Tina Washington.
The veterans didn’t leave before every student and staff member shook their hands in gratitude. The K-8 Dagsboro school also provided a free luncheon to their military guests and family members.