CROWN POINT — U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, and students of Eisenhower Elementary honored veterans Friday during the school's annual Veterans Day program.
Visclosky addressed a crowd of several hundred veterans and parents of the school's students who gathered Friday afternoon in the auditorium.
The congressman said he had last been at the school's Veterans Day program a couple of years ago. "And it is very good to be back. I want to thank the administrators, teachers, the parents involved and all of you veterans in the audience and all of you for honoring all of our veterans.
"We imagine our veterans all served in combat. Many have. Many have not, but they kept the peace to help us avoid going to war
"The Indiana National Guard is the fourth largest guard in the United States and one of the first in quality," he said. Visclosky said many veterans make other contributions and "give back the rest of their lives" to their communities after their military service is over.
"I thank them and their families for their service," he said.
Students performed a short play discussing the meaning of the word "veteran" and recited facts about the evolution of Veterans Day celebrations from the end of World War I to 1954 when it became an official holiday.
A slideshow of photos of Eisenhower students' relatives, who had served in the military and recent wars was displayed while students sang: the national anthem, "God Bless America," "Fifty Nifty United States," and other patriotic songs.
Principal Mary Ann Chapko said she expects students of the school to take a field trip in 2020 to Washington, D.C., for the opening of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial there, which recently broke ground. She said third-grade students, who would make the trip, will be involved in fundraising events between now and then.