Niagara Gazette — But the children are a different story, he said.
"We hear so much about what's wrong in this country or that there's no more patriotism in the U.S.," he said. "But it's nice to see young people this age who still believe in it. It kind of reminds you why you served in the first place."
In fact, Falls Mayor Paul Dyster kicked off his remarks during Wednesday's ceremony by asking the gathered children if any of them consider growing up and serving in the armed forces in some capacity to defend the country. Almost every single one of the nearly 100 in the auditorium raised his or her hand in response.
While the order of the day was to learn, another message was also repeated numerous times during the ceremony. The students were reminded to be thankful to the veterans for their service, a message many non-students often forget amongst busy lives.
Dyster and Abate Principal Diane Coty both reminded the audience to appreciate the sacrifices the men and women who serve in the armed forces give every day so citizens can enjoy the many freedoms guaranteed in this country.
"It's important for us who are not in the military to remember we have people fighting in foreign countries right now," Dyster said. "They need our support and they need our help."
"To all our veterans, we have a simple, heart-felt message for you: Thank you," Coty added.