Alto Park Elementary School honored local veterans with an annual Veterans Day program on Friday.

The program is organized each year by Stephanie Ayers, an instructional coach at Alto Park Elementary, who said this event is personal for her.

“I have a long line of battle heroes in my family,” Ayers said. “I just think it’s important for our kids to remember this day every year. In a world with so much business it can be easy to skip over it.”

The program began with a welcome from the school principal, Suzie Henderson, who emphasized the importance of children understanding the history of Veterans Day.

The Alto Park Boy Scouts led the group of over 100 students in the Pledge of Allegiance, then the fourth and fifth grade chorus, led by Melanie Daniel, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Chaplain David Thornton of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office was the keynote speaker. He spoke with the students about the importance of the American flag and the sentiment of Veteran’s Day.

“I always try to make it simple,” he said. Coming from a long line of veterans, he said the day was important to him. “I had the opportunity to serve my county, defend my country and help make America a better place.”

Once the program to honor the veterans concluded, the school held a reception in the media center where families ate cupcakes and fruit.

Vietnam veteran Windell McLendon ate with his granddaughter Makensi Nicholson.

“This is the third year I’ve been,” he said of the event. “I have grandchildren that attend different schools here in the county so I’ve been to all of them. They do a top notch program here.”

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