Students, teachers, and their families at Cave Spring Elementary celebrated Veteran’s Day through song this year.

Monday’s program began with Kyle Abernathy, the principal of the school, welcoming those who have served.

“Throughout the nation’s history, America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guards have bravely answered the call to defend our freedom,” he said. “We can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to the more than 650,000 American service members who died in battle.”

After welcoming the veterans, the elementary school chorus, led by music teacher Erin Brooks, heartily sang “You’re a Grand Ole Flag.”

Brooks comes from a long line of military men in her family. Her grandfather, who served in the Air Force, was in attendance. She said honoring her family members who served is why organizing this event for the first time was important to her.

“It took a lot of practice, work, and dedication,” she said of the students who presented. “I think they were just excited to please me and the veterans, and they just had a good time.”

Then, the chorus members creatively used the alphabet to honor veterans by holding up patriotic-themed letters in a poem called “H is for Honor.”

“S stands for Sacrifice,” a student said to the crowd. “And the special American way of doing what’s right for freedom’s light to shine on the USA.”

Abernathy then sang “God Bless the USA.”

To honor the veterans in attendance collectively, the chorus saluted the veterans with the “Armed Forces Medley.”

Gene Vanhorn who served in Vietnam in the Army was invited by his daughter, Brittany Brown, who teaches at the school.

“I love to see students participate,” he said. “Patriotism isn’t really taught in schools anymore and we’re losing some of it. It has to start somewhere.”

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