Students and staff at Lighthouse Christian School in Dagsboro saluted area veterans this past week with a performance from students in each grade and a celebratory lunch afterward. The school puts the program on each year to show their appreciation to the veterans and to let them know their service is not forgotten.
The veterans, many in uniform, but some in street clothes, were treated to patriotic songs, instrumentals, and a video montage of area voices thanking them for their service and their sacrifice.
“God Bless You.” “Thank you for your sacrifices.” “Thank you for protecting us.”
In addition to the video and the musical numbers performed by students from pre-k to eight grade, members in the audience watched as they set the “table for one,” to remember the POW/MIAs.
First Sgt. William Kandravi, (Ret. U.S.M.C.) and former POW Nicholas Tosques, who was a corporal in the army and was a POW in Korea for two years, stood and performed the “White Table/Table for One” ceremony as Tina Washington, of the American Legion Auxilary from Oak Orchard read.
“This Table set for one is small —Symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors. Remember! … The Tablecloth is white — Symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms. Remember! … There is Salt upon the bread plate — Symbolic of the families tears as they wait. Remember! … The Glass is inverted — They cannot toast with us this night. Remember! … The Chair — The chair is empty. They are not here. Remember!.. Remember! — Until the day they come home, Remember!”
“I really just have a heart for the military,” explained Pat Vigue, who teaches at Lighthouse Christian part-time and started working on the Veteran’s Day program four years ago when she taught history to middle schoolers.
She explained that she and her class formed a relationship with the American Legion in Oak Orchard and the students have done a number of different activities over the years such as writing cards to troops. After a father of two of their students was deployed to Afghanistan, they got to hear first-hand how much they meant to the soldiers while deployed.
Principal Terrie Menoche sent the children out of the program with the scripture from Romans 12:9: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
“We hope that you feel the sincere love and gratitude today,” she said to the veterans, reminding the students that the day is so much more than “a day off,” but one of reverence, respect and gratitude.