QES celebrates veterans in emotional ceremony

Queensbury Elementary School first-grader Reidar McNeff ran up to Staff Sgt. Kolbi Seeley and embraced the soldier in a tight hug. Seeley, who is a local recruiter for the Army National Guard, visited the school Thursday, Nov. 10, to help students celebrate Veterans Day.

Young boy hugs a soldierThe school held two ceremonies in the cafeteria Thursday morning to honor and recognize veterans who are related to students. Nov. 10 was also the 247th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

Students decked out in red, white and blue sang songs and listened to veterans talk about their time in the various branches of service. They listened to songs from all branches of the military and performed songs for the visiting veterans. Students also had the chance to ask the veterans why they served, how long they were away from their families and what it means to be drafted. 


Veteran pats young girl on the headQueensbury Elementary Principal Jessica Rossetti said the ceremony helps the students understand that Veterans Day is more than just a day off from school. 

“It connects our veterans to really feel that they’re recognized and appreciated for their service,” Rossetti said. “It’s really moving.”

Young boys saluting

Vietnam veteran Tim Cordell’s eyes filled with tears as he talked about why he visited Queensbury Elementary School Thursday morning. The 76-year-old veteran was invited by his granddaughter Iris White for the school’s annual ceremony. 

Cordell served during the Vietnam War from 1965-1969. Perched on his wooden cane, he simply told the students, “It’s an emotional day.”

Young girl dressed in patriotic clothes