Holly Pond students honored veterans at a special Veterans Day program Friday. (W.C. Mann for The Tribune)
HOLLY POND – On Friday morning, students and faculty of Holly Pond’s three schools came together to welcome around 60 area veterans for a fellowship breakfast and Veterans Day celebration. The Key Club provided the breakfast, while Holly Pond Elementary School and its Principal Karen Sparks took the lead in the commemorative ceremony, with help from the Bronco Band under Evan Curtis, as well as the Holly Pond Ensemble and elementary singers under Melissa Roberts. JROTC cadets formed the color guard to present the flag, and at points throughout the assembly, elementary students sang music celebrating the nation.
The schools recognized veterans by having the band perform a medley of the official songs of each of the five military branches and asking veterans to stand when their branch’s song was played. All branches except the Coast Guard were represented.
Included in the observance was the POW/MIA table. Students took a creative approach, starting in the dark and assembling the display one item at a time as a narrator explained the significance of each item.
At the end of that ceremony, the crowd stood to its feet to remember fallen warriors as a single trumpet played “Taps.” Then the veterans were treated to a slide show of classes displaying notes of gratitude, followed by a video salute accompanied by “God Bless the U.S.A.”
At the conclusion, high school Assistant Principal Steve Miller told the veterans, “This is my favorite day of the year, and it’s because of you. And, for whatever reason, this has become my part in the school, and it’s my favorite thing in the world to do. I know you watch the news sometimes–I try not to–and I know you sometimes wonder whether or not what you did was worth it. But I hope somewhere today, seeing what these guys did made you feel like what you did was more than worth it, and that what you did meant something, because we wouldn’t be able to do this today if it wasn’t for you. So I would like, on behalf of everybody here, to thank you again for your service.
“I said before our prayer this morning that I hope, in some way, you feel special today, and I mean that. Guys, we love you. We know you love us, because of the sacrifice that you made to be away from your family, be away from your friends to defend our great nation, and we love you and appreciate you for that. And we hope that you have not only a great day, but a great rest of the year, and I hope that, over time during the year, we find more ways to make you feel special, because you truly are.”
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