History was taken out of the textbooks at on Thursday morning as students paid tribute to veterans through poems, song and food.
The event, while annual, was extra-special this year as it kicked-off a where students will pay tribute to one area veteran every month.
The first veteran honored through the program was Walter Flaherty, 92, of Hampton Bays. Flaherty, a World War II veteran, was more than thrilled as students read poems, sang military songs and spoke of Flaherty's military experience.
Flaherty, originally from Ridgewood, moved to Hampton Bays after World War II where he served from Jan. 10, 1942 until Oct. 15, 1945 in the 741st Tank Battalion in the European Theater area of operations. Flaherty, like so many other World War vets, landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. His job was to work in the dark of night to clear roads that may have had land mines.
Giving him hugs and high-fives, students thanked Flaherty for his service, as well as other veterans in attendance, including those from the United States Coast Guard, Air force, Marines and Navy and Army.
A flag, that was presented by the , was raised at the Elementary School in Flaherty's honor and will fly for one month before the school district honors another area veteran.
"History has come to life today," said Superintendent Lars Clemensen. "It has come out of the text books an right to Ponquogue Avenue where students can learn about democracy, freedom and sacrifice."
To view a video from the event, click here.