Resplendent in red, white and blue boaters, pint-sized patriots at Public School 216 showed their true colors by offering a pomp-filled salute to local war heroes in honor of Veteran’s Day.
More than 25 members of the Kings County Council of Jewish War Veterans arrived in a color guard processional, followed by members of other local veterans groups, including the American Legion Marlborough Post 1347, for a tribute in the auditorium of the school, 350 Avenue X.
Songwriter Hank Fellows was on hand to hear students sing his patriotic song, written after 9/11, entitled, “The Spirit of America.”
Among the guest speakers was Irwin Beck, junior vice commander of the Sgt. Meyer Levin Flatbush Post 169, who spoke about the roots of the Jewish War Veterans. The group is the oldest veterans’ service organization, which began as the Hebrew Union Veterans Association after the Civil War, and assumed its current name around 1896, at the time it received a charter from Congress.
The Jewish War Veterans have served in every armed conflict, from the French and Indian wars that preceded the American Revolution to the Civil War, Spanish American War, World Wars I and II and Korea in addition to Vietnam, Desert Storm, Bosnia and, currently, in Iraq.
“When you teach a child patriotism, you teach a whole generation,” said Principal Celia Kaplinsky.