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Windermere School Gets Visit from Veterans

Approximately 50 veterans came to talk to the students about the military and enjoy breakfast with the children.

On Monday morning, approximately 50 veterans came to Windermere School in Ellington to talk to the students about their time in the military, and to enjoy breakfast with the children.

The veterans were from all branches of the military and some were there accompanying their children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. They traveled to the different classes, talking to the children and answering their questions.

After talking to the children, the veterans and their host students all gathered in the cafeteria and had breakfast together.

Ellington High School graduate and Windermere School alum Jeffrey Morgan was at the event, dressed in his United States Marine Corps dress blues. He was there with his nephews.

“They wanted me to come,” he said.

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Principal Steven Moccio said that this is the first time in his eight years in Ellington that the students have been in school on Veterans Day and he wanted to do something for the veterans.

He didn’t want a formal program though, and he feels the best way to learn about the day is to be able to speak with those who have been through it and served the time.

“I wanted to bring it down to the student level so I wanted to have the ability to have the veterans to interact with the students,” he said. “We have a lot of veterans who have kids in the school so I wanted them to be able to share those experiences with everybody, but I wanted to be able to do it in a small enough setting because if we do a whole school assembly, you don’t get to have that true interaction. I just thought this would be a nice way to be able to do it.”

The turnout was great and everyone seemed to be learning a lot and having a great time.

“I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” Moccio said.

Superintendent of Schools Stephen Cullinan thanked all the veterans for taking the time to come out and share their stories, and for their service.

Cullinan, whose brother was killed in Vietnam, said he had intended to go to many of the classrooms during the event but only made it to four because he was riveted by the stories, questions, and answers.

“I thought it was wonderful,” he said.

Bettie-Jeanne Rivard-Darby November 13, 2012 at 01:04 PM
My Vietnam Vet husband was one of those invited to attend and thought that it was a GREAT DAY! The students asked insightful and amazing questions. Of course, the older ones wanted to know about shooting and being shot at, and if it was scary, and if he had known anyone who was killed. They were curious about the jobs performed and what it was like to be so far away from families. They were really curious about the food! :) Jim said that there wasn't nearly enough time; that the discussion could have continued for hours! Bravo, Ellington Schools! Excellent way to honor the Vets And educate students about the true meaning of Veteran's Day
M. Guth November 13, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Congratulations on a great lesson -- taking the word "veteran" and demonstrating its meaning through person-to-person interaction with dedicated people of people of every age, race, and gender. I'll look forward to hearing more people-oriented projects in the future, And here's a shout-out to one of my favorite vets, Liz A. You go, girl!
Catherine Cella November 13, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I was very touched by this wonderful event that Windermere put on to honor our Veterans and help our children to understand what it is like to be a part of our military. As a photographer who spent the morning at the school I was very moved and touched by photos and stories myself. Thank you to all that supported this event and for serving our country so that we may always have our freedom.

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