Danbury, CT – Freedom is not free. That was the message at Immaculate High School’s Veterans Day Tribute November 9th.
Military color guard presented the United States and military flags while the school’s Inspire Choir opened the ceremony, which included distinguished veterans, Immaculate alumnus and state Superior Court Judge Thomas Saadi, school leaders and students. Immaculate’s sign language students also signed the songs for the audience. The school publicly recognized each local veteran in attendance and presented them with a gift commemorating their service.
Visitors to the ceremony were welcomed to Immaculate by the school’s Veterans Hill of Honor on its front lawn. The school’s community members purchased flags with yellow ribbons to recognize a special veteran by name. Immaculate presented a check for $2,000 from the proceeds of this tribute which will support the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs.
Immaculate’s Chaplain Father Philip Phan opened the ceremony with gratitude for all who have served. “We thank you for your sacrifice, courage and selflessness. Bless all our veterans, especially those who bear the physical and emotional scars of their service,” Phan said. “Grant them healing, comfort and peace. We pray for those who have given their lives in the service of our nation. May their souls rest in your eternal peace.”
“Tomorrow you’ll be home for a day off from school but it is more than a day to sleep in. Please take a moment to think about all the men and women who have served for you to be able to experience the wonderful lives that you are all leading,” Principal and Acting President Wendy Neil, whose own children are serving in our armed services, told students. “Freedom is not free.”
Danbury native son and celebrated Immaculate alumnus Thomas Saadi ‘88, who is a veteran and now a Superior Court Judge, also reminded Mustangs that they enjoy freedom and democracy thanks to veterans who came before us. “They and the veterans with us today, these men seated in the front row, kept the promise of protecting our liberty and freedom, carrying on that brave legacy, that began with the Massachusetts militiamen who faced down British regular troops at Lexington and Concord and then drove them back to their encampment and trench lines in Boston,” Saadi said.
The Veterans Day Tribute is a much-loved annual tradition at Immaculate.