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Area schools hold Veterans Day programs to honor those who served

Area schools held Veterans Day programs to recognize those who have served in the armed forces this past week.

West Elementary, with Principal Ann Scott, and Russellville Elementary, with Principal Kristie Ezzell, combine to host the program for Russellville City Schools at the RCS Auditorium.

The program featured the second grade, under the direction of Emily Rush, and the fifth-grade chorus, under the direction of Lauren Ritter. RCS Superintendent Dr. Heath Grimes gave the welcoming remarks, and the guest speaker was retired Staff Sgt. Eric J. Reason, U.S. Army.

Reason made a point to explain the difference between Veterans Day – set aside to honor those who served in the military and are still living – and Memorial Day, which honors those who served in the military and have died. He also talked about the price of freedom and finding the courage to do what is needed under trying conditions.

He also spoke on integrity and the importance of having and showing respect.

A video of students taking turns reciting lines from “This Land is Your Land” played, and among the songs the children sang in the program were “If You Love Your Country, Thank a Vet.”

Everyone was asked to stand while taps played, and an armed forces salute was conducted wherein music played while all veterans were asked to stand when their branch of service was called.

At Belgreen High School, the guest speaker was Sgt. Larry Plot, who spoke, in part, about being a good citizen and the importance of staying in school. Pre-K through sixth-grade students recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Among numerous other student musical performances, kindergarteners sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and first-graders sang “Oh, I Love America.”

“Our students did a phenomenal job today in our Veterans Day program,” said Belgreen Principal Megean Berryman. “Thanks to everyone who had a part in making this program a success, especially Mrs. Greenhill and Mrs. Harrison, as well as our music and art classes, and thank you to our veterans for their service.”

Phil Campbell, Red Bay and East Franklin schools also held Veterans Day programs.

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