Students at Dempsey Middle School in Delaware paid tribute to veterans Tuesday during the school’s annual Veterans Day assembly.
At the assembly, veterans related to students are invited to attend and share information about their service to the country. A slideshow played throughout, showing all the veterans related to staff and students at at the school. To honor all those veterans in attendance, and music students played a variety of songs, including each branch of the military’s official song.
Delaware City Schools Superintendent Heidi Kegley said there are different observations of Veterans Day throughout the district, but the assembly at Dempsey is her favorite.
“Middle school is that opportunity for them to have that full experience of a Veterans Day assembly,” she said. “It’s so impactful as they are preparing for the Washington, D.C. trip. It gives them a different connection than some of our other students. It also helps out students who maybe don’t have a veteran in their family to see all the students who do have a veteran and allow them to make that connection.”
Dempsey Middle School Principal Dan Bartha said the assembly helps students realize how many people in their lives are veterans or are related to veterans.
“It’s so powerful for them to make the connection between veterans and their own lives,” Bartha said. “It hits them that they are surrounded by folks who have sacrificed so we can live our lives freely. It’s impactful for students and their families.”
One of the veterans at the assembly was Tim Ponstingle, a veteran who served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1960 to 1964. He jokingly told students he was “only 5 years old” when he served. After the assembly, Ponstingle said he was glad he attended.
“My granddaughters are here,” he said. “We are very proud to be vets and very proud that we served, and its nice that we are still around and able to enjoy. (I hope students) take away an appreciation of their freedom and what others have sacrificed for their freedom.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.