"Freedom is not free, thank you for protecting me!"
This is the phrase that Fry students cheered as our guest Fry-community veterans entered the gymnasium. A drum ensemble comprised of 4th and 5th grade students stretched across the front center of the gym as they played along with the chant. It was so neat to see students walking so proudly with the member of their family who served! We've had several conversations this year regarding the irreplaceable value of music (see my Friday, August 28th post entitled "Music and Life"!). Music is a GIFT that should be stewarded well and shared with others. What an opportunity we had today to give thanks through music/art/poetry to amazing men and women in uniform!
Today's assembly was a culminating event that would tie together the last few weeks of music class. Students have been studying essential music concepts such as verse/refrain, solo/duet/chorus, introduction/interlude, audience etiquette, singing and matching pitch, steady beat, and many more.
We've also been discussing these essential questions in preparation for today's event:
- In what ways are we free?
- How would you feel if your freedom was taken away?
- How does the military help secure our freedom?
- What are the five branches of the military?
- Why is it a sacrifice to serve?
- How can we show gratitude and respect for those who've served?
The weight and respect of the hour was tangible. In an assembly filled with transitions, moments of silence, speakers, a video presentation, and performers, there were plenty of opportunities for disruption. However, our kids were FANTASTIC! Aside from everything they sang, their etiquette was one of the most notable gifts they gave to our Veterans! I think this is a true testament that our kids are really starting to understand the nobility of sacrifice! Perhaps it's best summarized in one of the lyrics of our all-school finale song, "American Anthem" by Gene Scheer.
"For those who think they have nothing to share, who fear in their heart there is no hero there,
know each quiet act of dignity is that which fortifies the soul of a nation that never dies."
Today, each student had a "quiet act of dignity" moment: they conquered the temptation to be silly and inattentive and chose to give their best attention, admiration, and respect to each other and our Veterans. Check out this incredibly special moment below as Fry's very own Mrs. Jeanette Skrip led the school in honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives. Hear her sound "Taps" in the video below.
Hear the whole school sing "God Bless America"!
On behalf of Fry and Clow School we extend our deepest gratitude for those men and women who willfully gave of themselves to secure America's freedom and the future of our children. There is no greater love than lay down one's life for one's friends, and we are forever grateful for your service!