Heritage Middle School pupils stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance with a military Honor Guard.
Veterans’ Day programs were held at a number of buildings throughout the Westerville City School District on Friday, November 10.
Westerville North High School, for example, hosted its first annual Veterans’ Day assembly, which featured, among other things, a flag folding ceremony. National Honor Society members made poppies for military personnel who attended, and the band, choir and orchestra performed patriotic songs. A representative from the USO was present to accept money raised from the sale of red, white, and blue t-shirts and a Hats for Heroes fundraiser.
At Heritage Middle School, students walked to the gymnasium in silence for an assembly that featured veterans from the American Legion Post 171 as well as Heritage, Westerville South alumni and Navy SEAL Tony DeCenzo, who presented the colors, addressed pupils, and accepted gifts on behalf of the Marine Corps Family Support Community and the USO Run for Heroes. Retired Army Captain Marty Wicks, who teaches Science at Heritage, delivered opening remarks and sang Lee Greenwood’s Proud to be an American. Band and choir members provided additional patriotic music. Students and staff provided pictures of their military heroes past and present that were featured in a slide presentation that ran throughout the ceremony.
Cherrington Elementary School third grade students performed a patriotic tribute to military friends and families who are part of the Cherrington family. Veterans received tokens of appreciation from the children.
At McVay Elementary School, students, veterans and community members packed the gymnasium to honor military personnel. A student color guard presented the flag; poems and letters were read; the choir sang; and each veteran present was introduced and applauded. USO representative Jackie Spector received a check from the school for $1,000, which was presented by Principal Scott May, also a veteran. The program concluded with the playing of Echo Taps by teachers Scotti Smith and Lindsey Clouston.
Kindergarten students at Fouse Elementary School got in on some Veterans’ Day action, thanks to the efforts of student teacher Katherine Walters, a senior at Otterbein University. For her Senior Year Experience project, Walters asked Fouse parents to e-mail pictures of veterans in their families, copies of which are now hanging in the school hallway. She made a giant flag out of the handprints of children in all three kindergarten classes, which was delivered to senior citizens at Feridean Commons on November 10 by youngsters in Elizabeth Byers-Spurlock’s class. The pupils practiced the Pledge of Allegiance for many weeks leading up to their field trip, when they walked across the street and got to meet with veterans.
Veterans’ Day was celebrated by the Wilder Elementary community at a student-led assembly held on November 10, which featured the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and the reading of essays titled What is a Veteran?. Students explained the White Table exhibit, and each veteran was introduced. The assembly concluded with the Wilder student body singing Thank a Vet and giving attendees a standing ovation. Amy Hudson, Michele Bertus, and Elizabeth Wolfgang helped the pupils organize the assembly. Later that evening, Wilder’s K-Kids, advised by Lynn Holland and Kiwanis member and parent James Minter, hosted a spaghetti dinner for veterans and their families.
These activities are representative of what took place throughout the Westerville City School District to honor veterans on November 10. Many other schools participated as well.