- Our Sites
- The News-Gazette
- NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AM
- Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS
- 107.9 WKIO
- Community News
There may have been no better way to emphasize the importance of Veterans Day than through the songs sung by Monticello elementary school children at a special assembly Nov. 9.
“When I see my country’s flag, I know I’m not alone,” sang first graders at the gathering at Monticello High School that honored local veterans.
“If you love your country, think of vets,” continued a chorus of second grade singers.
And the parade of patriotic tunes continued, with third grade students singing about “America, My Home,” fourth graders emphasizing it was “Grateful to Be An American,” and a rousing rendition of the traditional “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by fifth grade students.
The thankful atmosphere was not lost on Major Justin Smith, a 15-year member of the armed services who has been all over the world. The Monticello resident urged those in the audience to make sure they thank veterans all year round.
“Find them, stop them and thank them for their service,” said Smith, still an active member in the Air Force. “Also, thank their family for doing their part while their loved ones were away.”
Washington Elementary Principal Nancy Rosenbery told students the debt owed to veterans is impossible to repay.
“We can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to the more than 650,000 American service members who died in battle, or the 1.4 million who were wounded. We can however, recognize and thank the 25 million veterans still living today,” said Rosenbery.
After her opening remarks, high school student Sarah Triplett sang the national anthem. Classmate Kevin Steffes helped out by playing taps to close the assembly.
Students also honored veterans present by reading their names and the branches in which they served. A moment of silence was also observed.
Piatt County observance
Rain forced the 53rd Annual Piatt County observance indoors this past Sunday, but 150 attendees still packed the local VFW hall to hear American Legion State Commander Wayne Wagoner speak. Those present were also fed a chili dinner.
The annual gathering usually includes a parade, but it was cancelled due to weather conditions.
“It rained on my parade,” said Charles Barre, past 19th District American Legion commander who heads up that activity. “But at least we could still acknowledge the veterans,” he added.