Thurston Memorial Chapel was a sea of red, white and blue as Punahou’s youngest learners commemorated Veterans Day with a special Chapel service.
The program on Nov. 9, 2012, included K – 1 students, teachers, parents and grandparents, and a second-grade buddy class. Members of the Academy Concert band provided patriotic music, and parents and grandparents who have served in the armed forces were honored as special guests.
Academy JROTC members presented the Color Guard, followed by the singing of the National Anthem. Teachers distributed flags to the entire congregation, which joined in a rousing rendition of “God Bless America.” After the service, the flags were carefully collected, to be placed on graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).
During the program, which was led by Gaylynn Nakamatsu’s kindergarten class — the Dragonflies — children led the congregation in prayer and recited the value of the month, “lokomaika‘i,” or compassion.
They sang their class anthem, “Free to Be … You and Me,” and Chaplain Lauren Medeiros talked about what a blessing it is to live in a country where all children can pursue their hopes and dreams. On behalf of the entire congregation, she introduced the veterans or active-duty servicemen in attendance, and thanked them for their service. The Dragonflies presented handmade red, white and blue lei to their parents or grandparents who had served in the military. There were “ahhs” all around as the children wrapped their loved ones in heartfelt hugs.
On behalf of the whole congregation, Chaplain Medeiros told the veterans and active-duty servicemen: “Thank you for your service to our country!”