The Veterans Day Program has been a beloved tradition at Douglas since 1997; it provides the entire school community with a sense of pride and understanding of what our veterans have done for us. The program is unique in that students across all grades prepare and present the program.
Many students invite veterans they know to attend the program. These students sit with their veteran guests and introduce them during the assembly. After the program, the veterans often visit their hosts’ classrooms to share their experiences and answer questions.
The program, presented by the fifth grade, features patriotic songs and readings of original poems, under the direction of music teacher Peter Broggi. There is also a color guard ceremony by the fifth grade Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Sixth-grade volunteers greet the veterans and various classes across grades create unique patriotic gifts, including bookmarks and thank you cards, to include in gift bags for our veteran visitors.
Every year the program features a guest speaker.
- In 2016, John Ahlbeck was the Veteran’s Day Guest Speaker. John emigrated from Finland to New York City in 1947 when he was 13 years old. In 1957 he was drafted in the United States Army. He served as a supply clerk in Stuttgart, Germany. He is the grandfather of Oscar Maxwell and Douglas alumni Summer and Charlie Maxwell. Mr. Ahlbeck told us that he and all others who serve do so to protect our freedoms as laid out in the Constitution.
In 2015, Gary Sullivan, a third-generation veteran of the armed services, and father of Douglas students Mia, Tyler, and (Douglas Alum) Delaney Sullivan, shared some of his experiences as a former US Naval Officer. Gary attended the US Naval Academy, and spent seven years on active duty. During his time in the armed services, Gary served on a fast frigate and guided missile destroyer. Gary then became an instructor at the academy. During the term of his service, Gary was awarded the title of US Navy Athlete of the Year.
In early November the walls are decorated with patriotic artwork created by students and annotated photos of veterans within the Douglas community. Due to space constraints, the Veterans Day Program is limited to only veterans and their guests.