The fans showed up in droves to the Aromas School gymnasium Nov. 6, hoping to grab an autograph and a photo with the VIPs who were invited to an annual ceremony.
These weren’t some movie stars who have posed as superheroes on the big screen. The stars were real-life heroes who risked their lives to serve their country.
Nearly 30 veterans of various wars were invited to Aromas School’s annual Veterans Day Assembly, a tradition at the K-8 school for more than 30 years.
A score of preschoolers and kindergarteners cheered the veterans on as they made their way into the school’s Bruce W. Woolpert Gymnasium for the assembly.
In front of a full gym, students from various grades performed patriotic tunes such as “Sing the States” and “Proud to be an American.”
Each veteran in attendance was invited to state their name and branch of the military in which they served. They also received a booklet of poems written by the school’s fourth- and sixth-graders titled “Poems and Letters from the Heart.”
Quickly following the conclusion of the performances, the students scurried over to the veterans with their poems in hand, hoping to get the signatures from as many as they could.
“We think veterans are superheroes, so to actually get to meet our heroes is such a beautiful thing to do,” said fourth-grade teacher Holly DeAmaral, whose class spent months writing the poems and putting together the booklet.
The students are encouraged to approach the veterans as a way to build confidence when interacting with others, she added.
This year’s poems focused on similes, metaphors and personifications, with the writings describing veterans as “knights in shining armor” and a “lion, because she is fierce and strong.”
The guest speaker was Michele Huntoon, superintendent of the Aromas-San Juan School District. Other officials who attended included San Benito County Superintendent of Education Krystal Lomanto and Santa Cruz County Supervisor Greg Caput.
The assembly also included a posting and retiring of the colors by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard Freedom Post 1716 and Boy Scouts. Sponsored by the Aromas Home and School Club, the event concluded with a reception in the school’s library and computer lab.