LOCKHART — On Friday, Lockhart Schools hosted its 2012 Veterans Day program honoring veterans through celebration and remembrance.
After the presentation of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, the kindergarten class — under the direction of Kathryn Patterson — sang “America.”
Hunter Plemmons then delivered a message on behalf of the student body to the veterans in attendance.
“As we began preparing for our school’s Veterans Day celebration, many of us were either unaware of what this day commemorated or gave little thought to its significance,” Plemmons said. “As we looked more closely at the meaning of this day in order to prepare our program, our eyes were opened to the treasures of priceless privileges bought for us by the dedication of brave men and women like you.”
Plemmons said veterans are living symbols of everything the United States stands for.
“The small personal liberties that we take for granted every day, we owe to you and other like you, who gave of yourselves to preserve those things our nation holds dear,” he said. “You embody all those ideals on which our nation was founded — courage, freedom, justice, equality and tolerance. The value of your commitment to your country and its citizens is beyond measure, and our humble efforts here today fall short of expressing the gratitude we feel.”
Plemmons also reminded those in attendance of personal connections to veterans.
“We do want you to know, however, that at Lockhart School you are more than a history lesson,” he said. “You are a real part of all of our lives. Your dedication to the nation does not go unrecognized or unappreciated. As America’s future, we look to you as our beacons of hope and inspiration, lighting the way for us to step proudly into the future as productive and patriotic Americans.”
The program also included readings from the sixth, seventh and eighth grade Veterans Day essay winners. Sixth-grade winner Savannah Garcia read her essay, through which she shared her experience as a daughter of a deployed soldier. Seventh-grade essay winner Kira Reardon then read her essay, which considered the many sacrifices of the men and women who serve their country. Ryan Vaughan — eighth-grade essay winner — shared his essay which discusses the emotional and mental strength required of those in the military who are deployed.
Another portion of Friday’s program entitled “I Am the Flag” involved 12 students who each described a different situation in which the U.S. flag is present — from famous moments in history to caskets of the nation’s heroes to homes of the poor, mansions of the rich, churches and schools.
A slide show was also featured, displaying photos of veterans and their relation to students, faculty and staff of Lockhart School.
Ethan Bailey then spoke, asking those in attendance to observe a moment of silence and the playing of “Taps.”
“Many brave men and women paid the supreme sacrifice of their lives protecting this great land,” Bailey said. “Others returned from battle to their homes and families, but have since gone to their final resting places. Let us observe a moment of silence to honor the memory of those valiant men and women.”
Following the program, veterans and other invited guests enjoyed fellowship and refreshments in the school media center.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.