Parkway School Honors Veterans

Published Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 9:59 am
Vets

Veterans were honored on Friday at Parkway Elementary School during “Bring a Vet To School Day.” Veteran’s Day is Wednesday.

Parkway School’s 9th annual Bring a Vet to School Day on Friday honored veterans with a hallway parade, patriotic songs, readings by students Kate Dailey and Jackson Martin, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, free coffee and bagels, and many expressions of gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

The event at Parkway drew 71 veterans representing all branches of the military. The celebration began with veterans walking school halls lined with applauding, flag-waving students and teachers, many decked out in clothes with patriotic colors. The walls and ceilings of the hallway were decorated with note cards, banners, and student art that thanked veterans for serving the nation.

Gp photo

Navy veteran Harold Turner is accompanied by wife Kay Turner and Parkway students Magali Turner, Shaelyn Sheaff, Cassidy Johnson, and Kate Dailey.

The veterans in attendance included two who served in World War II along with larger numbers of men and women who served in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War/Operation Desert Storm, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in more peaceful times.

In addition to the music, readings, and parade, the celebration includes a time for first graders to circulate among veterans to ask for their autographs, giving students brief one-to-one moments with veterans and allowing each veteran to experience the direct personal appreciation of a student. It also features the recitation of the “ABCs of the military” by fourth grade students.   In this ABCs, each letter stands for one or two words associated with the military, as in “d is for drill sergeant,” “h is for heroes,” and “p is for proud of your service.”

As the formal ceremonies ended, Principal Stephanie Weeks thanked the veterans for their service and their attendance, and told the audience “this event is probably my favorite day of the year, even more than the first day of school and even more than the last day of school.”

Jackson (1)

Jackson Martin

Parkway’s Bring a Vet to School Day is spearheaded by fifth-grade-teacher Susan Miller, who is assisted in this work by Parkway teachers and students. Teachers in the elementary grades decorated the halls and participated in the parade with many of their students, and the event received additional support from other sources.

The free coffee and bagels for the celebration were provided through a donation from Andy Doss, a manager at Panera Bread. Parkway’s Parent Teacher Organization chipped in with a gift for each veteran and the school’s Student Council helped host the event. Funding for many of the materials used in the event was originally provided through a grant from the Watauga Education Foundation (WEF), a grant for which Miller expressed her continued appreciation.

The WEF funds grants for teachers in the Watauga County Schools system each year, with much of the funding for those grants coming from its annual “Flapjack Flip” breakfast. This year’s Flapjack Flip and raffle takes place Saturday, Dec. 5 at Watauga High School.

Veterans are also being celebrated with special ceremonies in other schools in the WCS system. All public schools in NC will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 11 for Veterans Day.

The date of Veterans Day is based on the date the armistice for World War I took effect in 1918 and was originally celebrated as Armistice Day. Congress declared Nov. 11 a legal holiday in 1938. In 1954, the date was renamed Veterans Day to better recognize everyone who has served in the military throughout the nation’s history.

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