PHOTOS: Rockland’s Esten Elementary School Celebrates Memorial Day with Patriotic Celebration

Rockland Public Schools
Superintendent Dr. Alan Cron
34 MacKinlay Way,
Rockland, MA 02370

For Immediate Release

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-428-3299
Email: [email protected]

PHOTOS: Rockland’s Esten Elementary School Celebrates Memorial Day with Patriotic Celebration

ROCKLAND — Principal Marilyn Smith is pleased announce that the Esten Elementary School held its annual Memorial Day celebration on Friday in the gymnasium. 

The ceremony was hosted once again by retired Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Daniel Clark. Known as “The Singing Trooper” this was Sgt. Clark’s 14th time hosting the Memorial Day ceremonies at Esten.

Sgt. Clark travels throughout New England and performs for many groups. His next stop will be on Memorial Day, May 27 at Fenway Park, where he will sing “God Bless America.”

Sgt. Clark said that his goal in coming to the school each year is to give the children an understanding of the role each branch of the military plays in our country, as well as an appreciation for our country’s traditional patriotic music.

“It’s a rich tradition that I hope to expose them to,” Sgt. Clark said.

Presenting the opening welcome address was Principal Smith, who introduced the service men and women, parents, grandparents and great grandparents of the students who were present.  

“Memorial Day is the day that we stop to remember those who have served and given their lives for our country,” Principal Smith said.

Sgt. Clark then introduced the Rockland Fire Department’s Honor Guard to present the colors.

After singing a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, Sgt. Clark led the school children and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Next, Jeffrey Najarian, State Senior Vice Commander of the Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), introduced Vincent Fontaine, Rockland’s Veteran’s Agent. Najarian also spoke to those in attendance about the importance of remembering those who have served in the military.

Sgt. Clark then introduced each grade as the students recited poems and sang patriotic songs.

Leading the children in their performances was Rockland music teacher Jeffrey Popadic.

  • Kindergartners sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag”
  • First graders recited the poem “For Memorial Day” and sang “My County Tis of Thee”
  • Second graders recited the poem “The Little Flags” and sang “America the Beautiful”
  • Third graders sang “This Land is Your Land”
  • Fourth graders recited the Gettysburg Address and sang “Stars and Stripes Forever”

Following the student performances Popadic played taps on a bugle.

The final performance of the event was Sgt. Clark singing “Proud to be an American and “God Bless America.”