Brownville Elementary thanks veterans

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    BROWNVILLE — Students at the Brownville Elementary School gave a big thank you to all who have served as each grade presented during a Veterans Day assembly on the afternoon of Nov. 7.

ne-Bvillefirstgrade-dc-po-46Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    SALUTING THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED — The Veterans Singers, under the direction of Stephanie Gillis, performed during the Veterans Day assembly at Brownville Elementary on Nov. 7. Grades K-5 each took to the stage for a musical number to honor members of the military.

    During her opening remarks, Principal Julie Royal told the students, many of whom had family members joining them in the gym, that Veterans Day would not be until Tuesday, Nov. 11. “It is a national holiday set aside for our veterans,” she said.
    Royal introduced the program’s guest speaker, retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Julius Murano III. She said Murano “is part of the Brownville Elementary School family” with a child attending the school and a wife who teaches kindergarten.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Julius Murano III

    Murano said he graduated from Penquis Valley High School in Milo in 1986 and then served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years. Following his retirement, he was a student in the criminal justice program at Husson University in Bangor and now is a dispatcher for the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department.
    “Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor and give thanks to those who have served or are serving in the military,” Murano said. He said the holiday falls between Halloween and Thanksgiving, but often children are not aware what the day signifies.
    “It is likely you kids encounter veterans on a regular basis and don’t realize it,” he said, mentioning a number of occupations that likely are filled by those who have previously served their country and are all veterans despite not wearing a uniform.
    Murano said the students can help by writing letters and cards to members of the Armed Forces. “You don’t realize how much that means to an individual deployed, it makes their day a lot better,” he said, saying he knows this from his own time in the U.S. Marine Corps.
    Royal also emphasized that the pupils may not realize how many people they know in the community are in fact veterans. She then asked veterans of each of the five branches of the military to stand and be recognized, as these individuals were given a round of applause.
    Those in attendance were treated to performances by the elementary band, comprised of fourth- and fifth-graders from both Brownville and Milo Elementary, and then grades K-5. The Veterans Singers, under the direction of Stephanie Gillis, closed out the musical selections with several songs, with one production including a recitation of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
    Royal concluded the day by thanking the veterans and other guests for attending. “I hope you saw our lessons this week around veterans and patriotism,” she said.

ne-Bvillefirstgrade-dc-po-46Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    A BIG THANK YOU FROM FIRST GRADE — Brownville Elementary first-graders gave thanks with their song, “We Would Like to Thank Our Veterans.”

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