Red Bay gives honor to veterans
By Brandi Miller for the FCT
The Red Bay High School gymnasium is usually anything but quiet. It is usually loud with the cheers of fans and buzzing of the clock. However, Nov. 10 the RBHS gym was the location of a reverent program meant to show appreciation to the individuals who give the ultimate sacrifice to ensure American freedoms.
“This is a tradition at Red Bay High School, and we are very proud to be able to do this for our veterans,” said RBHS Principal Kenny Sparks. “We always look forward to this program and want to extend an invitation to any veteran to come participate.”
The day began for the veterans by eating a meal prepared for them by RBHS. The veterans and their spouses had the opportunity to eat and visit with one another before the program. The veterans were then escorted into the gym by members of the RBHS senior class to the standing ovation of the near-capacity crowd. The oldest and youngest veteran was recognized, and each veteran’s name was called and presented with a certificate.
The RBHS elementary students and teachers prepared patriotic songs to sing for the veterans. The RBHS band played patriotic songs, and special music was performed by faculty and students.
“The program wouldn’t be possible without the people who make sure everything is taken care of,” said one of the event organizers, Joy Berry. “Kristie Thorn and Pam Jinkins go above and beyond, helping plan. Jarrod Massey does a wonderful job running sound and singing. Jonathon Hill is exceptional leading the band. Community Spirit Bank furnishes tables and chairs, and when Dr. Stephen Ray plays taps, it will give you chills.
“Jill Hester and Sarah Hardin did the certificates for the veterans. Phoebe Harrison wrote and led a song for the first grade students, and Kabloom furnished a wreath for the park and roses for the oldest and youngest veteran.”
In addition to these people and businesses, Berry also said she wanted to thank Sherry Hutcheson, Swamp Johns and Ralph Winchester for providing and preparing the meal that was enjoyed by the veterans. She also wanted to thank Frankie Smith for making sure there were flags from every branch at the program.
RBHS senior Ethan Mobley served as emcee of the event. Berry said the fact the community rallies around the school for this event is very appreciated.