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North Mianus Students Fete Vets

It is not every day that Hunter and Ryan Gruenstrass get to play show and tell with their mom, Jenny, who served in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Battalion, as the star attraction.

Jenny Gruenstrass was a guest as North Mianus School students honored veterans Wednesday in an assembly that included patriotic songs, President Obama's proclamation and poems written by the students thanking the men and women who have served and are serving the U.S. military.

"These heroic men and women serving in the Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard, Coast Guard or Reserves are our parents, grandparents, children, family members and neighbors," said Angela Schmidt, principal of the school. "They give tirelessly of themselves in the name of peace."

More than a dozen local veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War joined the students in their annual assembly. Assistant Principal Jennifer Bencivengo read Obama's Veterans Day proclamation to the crowd. "It is not our weapons or our technology that makes us the most advanced military in the world," she read. "It is unparalleled spirit, skill and devotion of our troops. As we honor our veterans, let our actions strengthen as a bond between a nation and her warriors."

Schmidt said Veterans Day holds a deep place in her heart because her father served and two nieces are currently serving in Iraq. "As a child, I was mesmerized by my father's stories about the war. He served in the Army during WWII in Japan. He told colorful stories of his life there, and the many interesting people he met as well as the harsh reality of the war."

Veterans and students attended a breakfast buffet together in the cafeteria after the assembly.

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