BRONXVILLE, N.Y. A group of children squealed as the girl on the plank dropped into the dunk tank. When she surfaced from underwater, she giggled, brushing the wet hair from her face. It was one of the highlights on a humid 85-degree Monday as the Bronxville community came together at the Bronxville Public School campus.
The school community was celebrating the PTA 's 51st Memorial Day festivities with a carnival, barbecue, bake sale and veterans' exhibit.
"We really do try to not lose sight of the fact that this holiday really is about celebrating and honoring the veterans and soldiers who have sacrificed so much for our country," said Helen Knapp, vice president of the Bronxville PTA . "It teaches appreciation. That is very much in our minds as we celebrate."
As jets soared overhead, people paused from carnival activities to look toward the sky. Parents talked about soldiers, past and present, who fought abroad to defend American freedom.
Most children were clad in bathing suits, running around on the lush grass. A group of middle school girls fanned themselves with their hands. Several parents made use of the shaded picnic tables as they ate freshly grilled hamburgers and munched on popcorn. They watched as children flopped down the bouncy slide, shot water balloons at each other, played modified singles basketball and climbed up a tree strapped into a harness.
Knapp said her favorite part of the Memorial Day celebration is seeing the smile on a child's face when they put their ticket in the raffle or hearing them giggle after they are launched into the air on the trampoline bungee ride.
"I grew up in Bronxville," she said, "so I remember going to these events as a kid and enjoying it. It makes me feel honored, in a way, that I can carry on the tradition, and also enjoy making it a tradition in other families lives. That makes it all worthwhile. It's part of our community now."
Throughout the year, the PTA invites students to a breakfast, holds a music reception and assembles a health and wellness forum.
"These are all opportunities to bring the whole community together," said Knapp. "We do really try to involve the school family and the school kids."
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