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At Veterans Elementary School in Ellicott City, a salute to those who served

The Baltimore Sun

Students at Veterans Elementary School embraced the school's namesakes on Thursday, hosting a morning program that paid tribute to local veterans.

The event, held two days before Veterans Day, brought students together with members of the nearby Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7472 and other veterans for readings, music and tributes — including a performance of "The Brave" by the school's fourth- and fifth-grade chorus.

In a statement, Principal Robert Bruce called the school's annual Salute to Veterans event "a great opportunity for our students to gain a better understanding of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have served our country.

"We have many active-duty and veteran families in our school community," Bruce said. "Today, our students ... were able to have a unique experience that will stay with them for quite a while."

Groups from the school system participating included music ensembles from Veterans Elementary and the Howard High School JROTC.

Others attending included Christopher Bowers, commander of VFW Post 7472, State Sen. Gail Bates, Del. Robert L. Flanagan, County Executive Allan H. Kittleman, County Council Chairman Jon Weinstein and Vice Chair Calvin Ball, and interim school Superintendent Michael Martirano.

"As educators, we are fortunate to have such a strong veteran presence in Howard County," said Martirano in a statement. "We can all learn something by celebrating our outstanding service men and women."

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