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.