TROY — The entire staff and student body of Van Cleve Elementary paid their respects to veterans during a commemorative wreath-laying ceremony on Friday at the veteran’s memorial in Riverside Cemetery in Troy.
The ceremony served as a culminating event for Van Cleve’s trip to Washington, D.C., which took place from Sunday, May 20 to Thursday, May 24.
According to principal Matt Siefring, the wreath-laying is in place of activities that had been previously scheduled for the D.C. trip before its last-minute shortening.
“Our initial itinerary had us scheduled for a formal wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery today,” Siefring said. “Unfortunately, with our adjusted itinerary, we weren’t able to fit that in. We still saw the eternal flame for President Kennedy, the Changing of the Guard, and some formal wreath-laying ceremonies that took place, but we weren’t able to participate this year.”
Despite running one day shorter than planned, Siefring insisted the trip was a huge success.
“The trip went very well,” Siefring said. “It was obviously shortened, but we were able in those few days to squeeze in nearly everything that was on our initial itinerary. We had the privilege of sitting down with Warren Davidson, our representative from the area, and a small group also got to speak with one of our senators, Sherrod Brown. That was in addition to all of the memorials and the Capitol and Mount Vernon. It was a fantastic trip and a learning experience for the kids.”
For the wreath-laying ceremony, the staff of Van Cleve coordinated with Baird Funeral Home to conduct the event, with a commemorative wreath donated by Trojan Florist.
“Superintendent Eric Herman and Principal Siefring contacted us,” said Tami Baird, director at Baird Funeral Home. “Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s representatives are here to conduct things today, and we’re just glad to be a part of it and support the students.”
Following the National Anthem, participating students and Honor Guard members conducted a formal laying of the wreath at the memorial. The ceremony closed with “Taps,” and selections by members of the Troy High School band.
“As with the trip, today’s event would not have been possible without everyone who’s gotten involved,” Siefring said. “We’re not trying to recreate the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but this will give all of our students the opportunity to pay their respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Reach Cody Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org.