In honor of Veterans Day, students at many schools around the district put on patriotic performances and paid tribute to the men and women who have selflessly served in the United States Armed Forces.
At Summerfield Crossings Elementary School in Riverview, the 5th grade students organized the ceremony. There were many veterans in the crowd including students' parents and grandparents. Riverview High School's ROTC showed off their skills and students sang songs like, "Proud to be an American." Students also made Thank You cards to show their appreciation to veterans.
Newsome High School's ROTC joined in on the Randall Middle School Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony in Lithia and showed off their target practice skills and competed in drills with the middle school students. The band played the Service Songs for each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
90-year-old Alvin Dircks was one of the veterans in attendance. He served in the Navy and Army during the Korean War.
"This is a wonderful thing. Teaching the young people respect for our flag. Too many of us have given. Respect us, that's all we ask for, a little respect. It's our country too we were fighting for," said Dircks. "There's so much in our history that they don't get taught anymore."
On the school's front lawn, students assembled a giant flag display in memory of the 9/11 victims. It's made up of markers each bearing a victim's name. The annual Patriot Day memorial was postponed this year due to Hurricane Irma. "We will never forget" lines the fence. The touching tribute will remain on display until Monday.
Some of the other Veterans Day events held at schools included:
Dickenson Elementary School: Staff and students recognized veterans with breakfast, followed by a patriotic program that included songs, a Boy Scout color guard and a “mail call” for veterans in attendance.
Hammond Elementary School: Retired Army Major General Mike Jones spoke at two student assemblies. Jones held a variety of roles, including Director of Operations and Chief of Staff for U.S. Central Command.
Dowdell Middle Magnet School: Students and staff from Clair Mel Elementary joined Dowdell for the Annual Veterans Day Celebration. Spoto High School’s ROTC presented the colors.
Claywell Elementary School: Students and staff honored Floyd Skeins, a Claywell crossing guard who is a Korean War Veteran.
Nelson Elementary: The school-wide ceremony was held in the courtyard with the Durant High School color guard, the school chorus and the playing of taps. The school also had a Veterans Day Wall of Honor set up, which included the names of honored veterans.
Knights Elementary: The school hosted a breakfast for veterans and their families. Fourth graders recited the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States and the chorus sang patriotic songs.
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