Ask any parent, and he or she will tell you that the Veterans Day ceremony at Geneva's middle schools is truly one of the best districtwide events of the year.
Students, teachers, parents, friends, administrators and grandparents offer a poignant tribute to those who have fallen and those who have served in America's military.
U.S. Navy Cmdr. Steve Lindell, a Mill Creek resident for the past four years, was in the audience watching his daughter, Camden, sing America the Beautiful and God Bless America as part of the eighth-grade choir performance that began at 7:45 a.m. at Geneva Middle School North.
Lindell teaches military leadership and travels around the world doing it. Prior to teaching, he served 10 years overseas, primarily as a Navy pilot in the Mediterranean.
But there are few places on the planet he'd rather be than at GMS North, watching his daughter sing in the choir and appreciating all the work that staff and students did to honor America's veterans on this 11th day in November.
"It's a time to pause and reflect on everybody who is serving for their country and remembering their sacrifices," Lindall said.
Opening remarks were made by Madeleine Nowak, Jake Riley presented the flags and the audience said the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ben Baker, Dominique George, Cassie Kuyawa, Austin Lewis, Caroline Neal, Kathryn O'Brien, Courtney Reynolds, Mitchell Spencer and Sara Temple sang The Star-Spangled Banner.
Andrew Krieger made introductions, and six students—Olivia Wood, Anna Gain, Karli Vaas, Caroline Williams, Kristian Moravec and Addison Tryon— read tributes to veteran family members, which they wrote themselves.
"I am thankful and inspired by what you did," Karli said in a letter to her grandfather.
"Always know that you have our appreciation," Kristian Moravec said.
Captain Van Stone made the keynote address, followed by a moment of silence and Taps, performed by James Prisco and Jake Zicherman. Certificates of appreciation were awarded by Megan McVey, and the eighth-grade band played Marches of the Armed Forces prior to closing remarks by Stefan Pouilly.
Presented here are photos from the morning's ceremonies.
More Veterans Day stories and images are coming later today on Geneva Patch.