By Debbie Bryce For the Journal
POCATELLO â€” About 100 Downy Elementary School students paid tribute to veterans at the Idaho State Veterans Home Tuesday.
Along with a collection of patriotic songs, the K-6-graders spent the last two month working on a special video for the vets that will be viewed during Veteranâ€™s Day celebrations Wednesday.
â€śWe are grateful to all of you and for the contribution you made so these children can come and sing to you today and can go to school to learn,â€ť Principal Nancy Dalley told the veterans.
Dalley said the students were excited to get to perform for the veterans and last year the Veteranâ€™s Day performance by Downey Elementary School was viewed in Washington, D.C.
Joseph Tomi is a second-grader at the school and he knows exactly what a veteran is.
â€śItâ€™s someone who fought for freedom,â€ť Joseph said.
He said his grandfather and his mother are both veterans.
Khloe Sorensen, 7 and also a second grader at Downey, said she liked to see the smiles on the veteranâ€™s faces.
Mel Hansen is the Downey Elementary resident Marine and he teaches fourth and fifth grade at the school.
â€śI am highly honored to be able to come and do this,â€ť Hansen said. â€śI think today, a lot of schools just step over Veterans Day, we want our kids to know what the holiday is about.â€ť
Mary Christine Head served with the U.S. Air Force for 17 years before a fall off the end of an aircraft in 1986 broke her back and ended her career.
â€śI was loading a parachute and it was raining, I was trying to hurry before it froze,â€ť Head said.
Sheâ€™s been a resident at the Pocatello Veterans Home for the past six months and said she was touched by the tribute Tuesday.
â€śThis was just wonderful, the kids, the songs, I just loved it,â€ť Head said.
Head said she followed her father into the Air Force and her son followed.
â€śHeâ€™s in the Air Force, heâ€™s a cop though,â€ť Head said.
Carrie Leavitt, activities coordinator at the Pocatello Veterans Home, said the residents look forward to the annual tributes.
â€śThey love children and they love patriotic music,â€ť Leavitt said. â€śIt enriches their lives.â€ť
Leavitt said a veteransâ€™ tribute is also scheduled Wednesday beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The annual event includes guest speakers, music, videos and the Spirit of Freedom Awards, bestowed by U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo R-Idaho will also be presented.