PEORIA COUNTY, Ill (WMBD)- Wilder Waite Grade School in Dunlap and Concordia Lutheran in Peoria both held assemblies on Friday, Nov. 10 to honor local veterans.

At Wilder Waite Grade School, fifth-grade students were in charge of writing cards and inviting veterans from the community to attend an honorary assembly. With the help of their teachers, they were able to have guest speakers such as veterans and the mayor of Dunlap.

Stacy Berg, principal of Wilder Waite Grade School, spoke on the importance of understanding why we celebrate Veterans Day.

“Wilder Waite is a very diverse community of learners, and so we often talk about the privilege that we have that we can all come together from our differences in culture, race,” Berg said. “We have students from around the world here. But because of things the veterans have done to allow us to live in a place with in peace and freedom, we can all come together and learn as a school family.”

Students at Wilder Waite also participated in a contest to write about what freedom means to them. A student from each grade was chosen to read their essay or poem at the assembly, so the veterans could hear what freedom meant to the youngest generation.

In Peoria, at Concordia Lutheran, students invited their friends and family members who served in the armed forces to attend their assembly.

“For 12 years now we’ve had a Veterans Day assembly in which we invite veterans from our community, gather our students together to honor those that have served.” Andrew Monkemeyer, principal of Concordia Lutheran, spoke at the annual assembly.

The students attending Concordia Lutheran spent the last week doing various artwork projects depicting the American flag and wrote essays after researching what it meant to be a veteran of the armed forces.

Both principles felt the most important takeaway from the assemblies was that their students were able to make connections between the sacrifices made and the freedom the country has today.