With both patriotic students and staff giving their all, Youngs Grove Elementary honored the nation's armed forces with a school-wide Veteran's Day celebration.
The ceremony included the posting of colors, several live musical performances, and a roll call of those that worked to honor both the history of the military and the individuals that served.
Surrounded by the various flags of the country, state, and military branches, students began the event by offering insight into the holiday.
Sometimes confused with Memorial Day, the youth described Veterans Day as a holiday that celebrates all those who have served in the armed forces- regardless of their status. The major conflicts of World War 1 were ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and the holiday is now celebrated each year on November 11, first as Armistice Day and now Veterans Day.
The students' performance of “A Soldier Known but to God” and “My country 'Tis of Thee” marked the transition from student to staff speakers. The formal Veterans Day speaker proved to be the school counselor and Navy veteran Diane Kent who offered a word about the impact of the holiday and those it honors.
“I am personally inspired by the men and women we will recognize today,” Kent said. “With every step we take, we tread on ground made safer for us through their many sacrifices. When these veterans made their decision to enter the military, it meant that they had to give up many personal freedoms we often take for granted- they couldn't choose where they lived, who they worked with, or even when they were going to take a long 'work trip' away from their family and friends.”
Kent would continue speaking before offering a word on her own service and the important traits she learned during her time with the Navy.
“During my training and time on active duty, my comfort zones were completely stretched-- I found out that I was stronger, braver, and even smarter than I realized,” she explained. “I learned how amazing it feels to be a part of a team- a team with a noble mission. For those of our guests who do not have a child currently at Youngs Grove-- every month we highlight one core essential trait we try to emulate. This month's word is “cooperation.” It was during my time in the military that I learned how to work with people who were different from me in almost every way imaginable.”
It was during a closing performance of “You Are Our Heroes” that the youth of the school would continue to show cooperation themselves, and a closing performance of “Taps” would close the event out as veterans and families were free to take pictures and mingle.
The event was made possible thanks to the Exchange Club of Cedartown that provided flags, the American legion Post 12 Ladies Auxiliary who supplied poppies, and the Brown-Wright Legion who provided military flags. Chick-Fil-A and Bojangles' provided gift cards to the veterans.