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The City Journals

Third-graders at Upland Elementary pay tribute to veterans

Nov 29, 2016 04:10PM ● By Rubina Halwani

Third-graders hoist the flag for a Veterans Day ceremony. (Upland Elementary)

By Rubina Halwani | [email protected]


On Nov. 11, the nation honored the service of veterans in a variety of remembrance ceremonies. Third-grade students at Upland Terrace Elementary held a special flag-raising ceremony outside the school. On the cool but sunny fall morning, the students raised the American flag and held their hands over their hearts for the pledge. 

Parents also gathered for the event. One boy in a Boy Scout’s uniform played the trumpet during the ceremony. 

“These third-graders are so lucky to have such awesome teachers,” said Michelle Loosli, a parent with kids attending Upland Terrace Elementary. “Best school with the best teachers!”

Amy Brindley, another parent, added, “I stood outside and watched this ceremony this morning. The kids did awesome and Mrs. Duff’s son on the trumpet was such a great touch! Way to go third grade!”

Inside the school stood a symbolic “America’s White Table” display. The display is based on the book authored by Margot Theis Raven. The story describes a white table erected in mess halls as a reminder of fallen, missing or captive service members. 

The display features a small table covered with a white tablecloth, honoring a soldier’s pure heart when called for duty. A white plate was covered with salt, representing the tears that family shed over missing loved ones. A lemon slice was placed on top of the salt, symbolizing a soldier’s bitter fate. The black napkin represented the sorrow of captivity. 

Each element added to the table represented something symbolic for the soldiers. A white candle stood for peace. An overturned glass symbolized the meal that will not be eaten. A red rose tied with a red ribbon for hope that the missing will return. An empty chair pushed under the table to indicate a place set where no one will ever sit. Finally, one large and several smaller American flags decorated the rest of the exhibit.