Desi Cuddihy teaches fourth grade at Snoqualmie Elementary School (SES). For the past 11 years, she has asked her students to organize an assembly for local veterans in honor of Veterans Day. This year’s fourth-grade class followed tradition with its own assembly.
The event consisted of two main parts — a welcome reception in the teacher’s lounge where veterans and their families could enjoy coffee and breakfast, and a formal assembly honoring the veterans through a PowerPoint presentation and the class’s performance of traditional American songs such as “The Star Spangled Banner,” “This Land is Your Land,” “America the Beautiful” and “Roll on Columbia.”
“This is my 35th year of teaching,” Cuddihy said. “I started [the Veterans Day assembly] back when I was at Fall City Elementary…It’s just a great way for the kids to use real-world skills and honor our veterans.”
She said she enjoys having her class plan the assembly every year.
“The kids are awesome,” she said. “They always take it so seriously and love taking on the responsibility. And I think they really enjoy getting to learn about what our veterans have done and feel happy to honor them.”
The fourth-grade class said they were excited but nervous to take on such a large and important event on Nov. 8. To help divide the work, the class split into several committees including the reception committee, the food committee and the decoration committee.
Students Rachel Rigby, Annabelle Nieman, Gabriel Natarajan and Emery Giles were this year’s assembly speakers.
They said the class has been preparing for this assembly for about a month.
“It’s been fun, but also pretty stressful,” Natarajan said.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of time, but it’s been fun to do,” Nieman said.
Rigby said the assembly is really important because it honors local veterans.
“A lot of kids don’t really honor veterans. They just see it as a day off from school, but it’s important to honor them for what they’ve done for all of us,” she said. “We should honor them everyday.”
Navy Veterans Mark and Angie Kennedy attended this year’s assembly.
“It’s really cool,” Mark said. “We feel special…We enjoy the kids learning what people have done for this country.”
“We really enjoy the kids coming up to us and asking us questions,” Angie said.
Cuddihy said she appreciates how hard the kids work to serve the veterans and make them feel honored.
“Honestly, it’s so amazing to have the veterans here and seeing the kids interact and serve them,” she said. “It’s great that our school has a special way to honor them.”