VETERANS DAY: Holly Pond honors veterans with reception, service of celebration


A drama team put on a shadow play honoring the veterans./ W.C. Mann

HOLLY POND – On Thursday morning, Holly Pond’s elementary, middle and high schools came together to honor local veterans ahead of Saturday’s observance of Veterans Day.  After a well-attended breakfast reception where they shared stories with each other and with mingling students, veterans filed into a packed gym where various student groups made presentations to celebrate those who served and remember those who fell.  The day’s events continue a long school tradition of veterans’ recognitions at Holly Pond.

High school Principal Kim Butler said, “It’s been huge here for a long time.  I don’t remember when it started; it’s been going on 20 years or more.  It’s just an opportunity to honor our veterans.  They’re a huge part of this community, and why we’re here.  So we just love the opportunity to honor them each year.”

The military celebration was a collaboration between the Key Club and Ms. Melba Palys, the Holly Pond Middle School Student Government Association, the Bronco Band, musical ensembles, drama team and JROTC.  Contributing faculty and staff included high school science teacher Chelsie Alldredge, band director Evan Curtis, middle school English teacher Beth Metcalfe and elementary school music teacher Melissa Roberts.

Groups performed patriotic songs, including a multi-voice rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the band played instrumental arrangements of the official anthems of the five military branches as their veterans stood to be recognized.  A student team put on a shadow play behind cloth screens, dramatizing both the service and struggles of veterans.  Students read the WWI poem "In Flanders Fields," and the school honored fallen soldiers as Bronco Band trumpeter Madison Fields played “Taps.”

Essay contest winner Maureen Worthington read her essay on why she is proud to be an American, which concluded with statements that seemed to sum up the spirit of the moment:

“The last but certainly not the least reason I am proud to be an American is because of every soldier who has fought for this country.  It is because of every man who has given his life to save others.  They fought for our freedom, our rights, and our protection.  And that’s why we are here today, to thank them.  We should all be proud.  We all should be grateful and thankful. 

“We are all proud to be Americans.  We all live here proudly and freely.  We are the land of the free because of the brave.  I am proud to be an American for having freedoms that other countries can only dream about.  I was born an American.  I will live an American life.  I shall die an American.  I am forever thankful to live in the United States.”

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