Riverside School celebrates annual Veterans Day Ceremony


First Selectman Fred Camillo.

On Monday, November 9, 2020, Riverside School hosted its annual Veterans Day Ceremony to honor service men and women, both past and present. An annual tradition for the past 20 years, the school held an outdoor, scaled back, socially distanced event on the school’s front lawn. Fifth grade classes were invited to participate along with a handful of volunteers, school staff and local veterans.

Guests in attendance included First Selectman Fred Camillo, Police Chief Jim Heavey, and Veteran Erford Porter. Principal Christopher Weiss led the event where traditional elements of the ceremony took place including the raising of the flag, the laying of the wreath, and participation in the Pledge of Allegiance.

“The Veterans Day Ceremony is a longstanding tradition at Riverside School where the community comes together to recognize Veterans and the critical contributions they have made to our country,” said Christopher Weiss, Principal, Riverside School, “It was important to still hold the ceremony in a responsible way, despite the limitations the pandemic has presented. Today’s events allowed us to recognize and celebrate veterans in a meaningful manner consistent with past celebrations we have held.”

The ceremony kicked off at 9am with the raising of the flag, followed by Selectman Fred Camillo’s addressing the fifth-grade audience. “I was honored to participate in Riverside School’s Veterans Day Ceremony,” said Fred Camillo, First Selectman. “It was wonderful to see that despite the pandemic, the celebration could still take place and give us the opportunity to teach students the most valuable lesson they can learn: to simply thank a veteran, today and every day of the year.”

At the close of the ceremony, Riverside School alumni veterans who died in foreign wars were recognized. Phillip Edward George Jr., Henry Bradbury Johnson, and Clarence Brodie Keith, veterans of World War II; Thomas Budd Kean, Nevell Brackett Safford, and Louis Francis Zaccardo, veterans of the Korean War; and Richard Horsfall, veteran of the Vietnam War were all recognized.

Students in grades K-4 who were not able to participate in the ceremony will watch a recording of the event, and engage in other various activities throughout the day on Wednesday.

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