St. Anthony Veterans Day program

St. Anthony Catholic School students hold up pictures of loved ones who are veterans during the Veterans Day program.

FLORENCE, S.C. — St. Anthony Catholic School honored veterans Friday morning with a free breakfast and musical program.

Veterans gathered in the red, white and blue decorated family life center at the school. Several of the veterans were dressed in jackets and shirts representing their branch of the military.

During the program, St. Anthony students sang and played musical pieces, such as “The Star Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful” and taps.

Students gave the history of Veterans Day and taps between the musical pieces.

Andrea Elya and Ava Shockey, students at St. Anthony, narrated the meaning of the 13 folds in the U.S. flag while Don Manley and Tim Sullivan demonstrated the flag’s folding.

Eugene Tassoni, a World War II veteran of the Navy, is a longtime attendee of St. Anthony’s Veterans Day programs.

“This is wonderful; this has been excellent,” Tassoni said. “I’ve come every year except for last year.”

Tassoni said he thinks this year’s breakfast and program were the best so far.

Susan Gerth, music teacher and choral director for St. Anthony, said the program was a schoolwide effort, including teachers and students.

Gerth said this year the school decided to make it open to the public.

“We definitely had more people than I ever remember before,” Gerth said.

At the end of the ceremony, Regina Arde presented a quilt of valor that will be given to Father Richard Jackson, a veteran who has helped St. Anthony over the years.

“He is just somebody who will come to help,” Arde said. “It’s going to be nice because he is somebody who deserves it. He’s always willing to do something.”

Arde stitched an eagle pattern on one side of the quilt and added an embroidered patch on the quilt for Jackson.

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