Leona Cox students celebrate Constitution Day

Students at Leona Cox Community School participate in the school's Constitution Day Assembly on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

Sporting their favorite red, white and blue apparel, students at Leona Cox Community School gathered together to celebrate Constitution Day on the school’s upper yard Friday.

The Constitution Day Assembly honored local service men and women and educated students about the signing of the Constitution more than 200 years ago.

“Constitution Day came from American federal observances that recognize the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who became U.S. citizens,” Principal Heather Drew said.  “It is normally observed on September 17th, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia.”

This year, the school celebrated the observance two days early, as Constitution Day falls on a Sunday.

The assembly also served as a way to honor those who protect the rights of the Constitution every day, both at home and overseas.

“We are here today to honor our heroes, to remember their achievements, their courage and their dedication and to say thank you for their sacrifices,” Drew said.  “We stand in the midst of patriots and those who serve our country and our community.”

In total, the school recognized nearly 20 family members and community members who serve or served in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and the Vietnam War, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and those who work as nurses.

“The service members we are honoring today came from all walks of life, but they share several fundamental qualities,” Drew said.  “They possess courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity, all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than oneself.”

Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students at Leona Cox Community School perform “America I Love You” during the school’s Constitution Day Assembly on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

In addition to honoring local service members, students, in transitional kindergarten (TK) to sixth grade, performed songs they spent three weeks memorizing and practicing.

Students in the special education preschool marched down the row of students showing off their arts and crafts before students in TK and kindergarten sang and signed “America I Love You.”

The rest of the grades followed with first grade singing and signing “Oh, I Love America,” second grade singing “What’s More American?” and third singing “Statue of Liberty.”

Fourth grade students then recited the sonnet “New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus that appears on the plaque on the Statue of Liberty before fifth grade students sang the “Preamble Song.”

The assembly finished with the Leona Cox students thanking the service men and women one final time.

“They were ordinary people who responded in extraordinary ways in extreme times.  They rose to the nation’s call because they wanted to protect a nation that has given them and us so much,” Drew said.  “Thank you for answering the call to duty and stepping up to support your community and your country.”

Third grade students at Leona Cox Community School perform “Statue of Liberty” during the school’s Constitution Day Assembly on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

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