Jefferson Intermediate paid tribute to veterans and active-duty military members during the school’s annual Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 11.

Fifth graders had the opportunity to ask members of the Pella American Legion and a serviceman in the Iowa National Guard about their service. Students were interested in why they had chosen to join the military in their respective branches, how long and what wars they served in, their badges of honor and their happiest moments while serving.

Four students were chosen to read essays they had written regarding what Veterans Day means to them:

“Veterans Day is important to me, because my dad is in the army, and most of the people in my family have been in at least one branch in the military serving their country,” said fifth grader Juliana Robbins.

“I think being a soldier is the greatest thing ever,” said fifth grader Jack Brown. “It’s one thing to go on a scary roller coaster, and it’s one thing to skydive, which I would never do. It is a whole other thing to be a soldier, no matter which branch … I express my gratitude to all of you.”

“The definition of gratitude is a feeling of thankful appreciation,” said fifth grader Zoe Drabek. “I think we all have gratitude for veterans, be it big or small.”

“I’d really like to thank all the people out there who have fought for us,” said fifth grader Miley Pierson. “Whether you’re currently fighting or retired, you fought for us, sacrificed your time, and some, your lives, for our country. I am very thankful and appreciative.”

Students sang patriotic songs, and the Varsity High School Show Choir made a special appearance to perform “Born to Rise” and “Anchors Away.” Veterans in the audience were recognized and asked to stand when their respective branch was called.

The celebration came to a close with the playing of the taps and a moment of silence for all those who have served our country.

Emily Hawk can be reached at ehawk@pellachronicle.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-628-3882.

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