Celebrating those who fought so hard for our freedom. That’s what students, teachers, veterans and friends did at Green Valley Elementary School on Monday, November 11 for Veteran’s Day. This was the 22nd year that Green Valley has participated in celebrating the important day. Camilla Cabaniss, a retired third grade teacher and Mary Lou Hagen, Green Valley’s music teacher, among many other volunteers, worked tirelessly to put together this special program.
Patriotic music filled the packed auditorium… students, teachers, parents and veterans sat, ready to honor and remember the past, present and future of our country. The music was led and directed by Mary Lou Hagen. The entire school took part in most of the songs including “This Land is Your Land,” and “I Love My Country,” among many other classic songs. Green Valley’s Principal, Ashley McCallum welcomed everyone to the event and expressed her gratitude to those who have served or are serving our country. Danielle Zebosky, the S.C.A President gave the Statement of Purporse and there was a presentation of the Colors by the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard. In addition, there was a musical Tribute to the Services which included: The United States Army, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, United States Air Force, and the United States Coast Guard.
David Bowman, Sr., a veteran of the United States Air Force spoke to the crowd about his father, who was a paratrooper. His father was a member of a very brave group called the Pathfinders. It was their mission to parachute behind enemy lines and prepare the way for the advancing U.S. army. “That’s what is so great about our country,” said David, “someone like my father, who came from a poor, simple life was able to rise and defend his country. But he never thought of himself as a hero.”
In addition to the wonderful music and presentations, there was also a lighting of the Candle of Remembrance by Sophie Saunders, S.C.A. Vice President. There was a moment of silence to remember and honor those who fought for our freedom as well as a trumpet duet by Hidden Valley Middle School band students: Andrew Lin and Carson Stanley.
After the event, parents and visitors were invited to stay for refreshments and visit their child’s classrooms. Veterans were invited to stay for a special breakfast in their honor. The students of Green Valley not only prepared many beautiful songs to honor the veterans during the event; they also created a wall of thankfulness as well as various other pieces of art to show the veterans how much they are appreciated. This artwork will be distributed to the Veteran’s Hospital in Salem before Thanksgiving.
Veteran’s Day may just be one day, but it is an important one… it is a reminder that we should treasure and honor those who have fought and are still fighting for our freedom. They are a group to be treasured and honored every day of our lives. Green Valley Elementary School captured the importance of this day in their very special and emotional program to “Honor All Those Who Served.”