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Furnace Woods Students Receive Memorial Day Message

As he delivered his Memorial Day message to students in the sun-splashed courtyard Thursday morning, Sean Murray told Furnace Woods students the holiday’s meaning. All eyes were locked on the Commander of American Legion Post 1030 as he talked about sacrifice and remembrance.

“So, can I ask you?” Murray said. “When you see our memorials and our monuments, can you respect and honor them?”

Almost in unison, the students shouted, “Yes!”

It was a highlight of an hour-long ceremony Thursday as Furnace Woods paid homage to the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

“It was a really nice celebration,” fourth-grade student Ada Flannery said. “It’s a great day to remember all the people who fought in wars and for our freedom.”

Memorial Day will be observed Monday. Students said the ceremony helped them make connections to what they’ve been taught in the classroom about the special day.

“We took what we have learned about how people have died for our freedom,” said Cooper Campbell, a fourth grader in Dana Duffy’s class. “Today helped us learn more about that.”

Furnace Woods hosted five veterans from Legion Post 1030 and also honored two school employees who have served in the military.

Principal Josh Cohen kicked off the ceremony, then turned the microphone over to seven fifth-grade students, each of whom shared their thoughts on what Memorial Day meant to them. One even cited family members who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Another group of students followed by singing the Star-Spangled Banner. Later, a dozen students drummed “Grand Old Flag” with red and blue sticks on the bottom of upside-down paint buckets. The school also honored its “Team Player” award winners, giving the recipients certificates for their efforts.

The event ended with a playing of “Taps,” a bugle call played at patriotic ceremonies and military funerals.

Flannery, a student in Peggy Kuss’ class, said the Memorial Day acknowledgement reminded her of what the fourth graders have read lately about significant moments in history.

“We’ve been learning a lot about World War II,” Flannery said. “It was good to learn more. It was nice to have the veterans come and talk to us.”

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