GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- Pass Road Elementary partnered with United Way of South Mississippi and the United Service Organization (USO) to observe Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance Sept. 11.
At the school's first assembly of the year, guest speaker Lt. Cmdr. Craig Clutts, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133's executive officer, highlighted the importance of service to others.
Clutts reminded the audience of kindergarten through fifth grade students that service is not limited to those in military, but also extends to the police officers and firefighters, park rangers, postal workers, public service agencies and volunteers.
Clutts said Americans were united in the New York City and Pentagon tragedy in 2001 and the numerous volunteers responded with somber dedication. Service members and civilians alike rallied in support of those affected by the 2012 Benghazi attack and acted to prevent further destruction.
"As members within the classroom or community," Clutts said, "each of you can make a difference by helping each other."
At the end of the assembly, each grade presented their donations for the USO to use across the Gulf Coast in service to the men and women who serve in the military. It was an awe-inspiring presentation, superseded only by the entire student body harmoniously waving their American flags and chanting "U.S.A." for nearly a minute spreading a heartfelt patriotism throughout the gymnasium.
"It was an honor to serve those that have gone before me, and those affected by the September 11th attacks by passing the torch of volunteerism and service to the young, impressionable minds of our future leaders. It will remain a fond memory forever," said Clutts.
For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb133/.