Menomonee Falls students celebrate veterans with parade

Students at Riverside Elementary School in Menomonee Falls honor area veterans with a celebration each year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration looked different on Veterans Day 2020, but the message of gratitude carried on.

Students made signs and waved American flags to those who have served the nation. A small parade of vehicles went through a parking lot and fourth-graders lined up in small groups -- socially distanced and with faces covered.

"We are grateful to be here," said Tom Branta, commander of Henrizi Schneider American Legion Post. "This is absolutely phenomenal, excellent."

Menomonee Falls students take part in a Veterans Day celebration

The pandemic through a curveball in the annual celebration, but it was a curveball that was expected. Organizers said they couldn't let Veterans Day go by without some sort of tribute.

 "This year with COVID-19 we knew things were going to be different," Lori Oertel, older adult and volunteer supervisor with Menomonee Falls Community Education & Recreation, said. "Memorial day getting canceled, the Fourth of July getting canceled -- we wanted to do something with the veterans to let them know we appreciate them and all their service for us."

Menomonee Falls students take part in a Veterans Day celebration

Organizers of Wednesday's celebration found a creative and safe way to honor area veterans.
 
"It made me smile get all warm inside, it almost brought me to tears," Oertel said.

Students made sure their cheers were heard.

"Thank you for your service, thank you for helping us, thank you for our freedom," Ambrose Sansone, a fourth-grade student, said.

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A video was also made by several community leaders to again give thanks to veterans.

To watch a video of the parade, CLICK HERE.

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