Many ways to say thanks

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, November 10, 2010

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory …”

President Woodrow Wilson spoke those words in November 1919, one year after the Great War ended.

As he remembered the armistice that ended World War I in 1918, the country now also remembers it every year on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

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To remember that moment in time, that armistice that went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there will be several ceremonies and programs around Lawrence County.

The Ironton VFW Post 8850 will continue its long running tradition at Woodland Cemetery with its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Thursday.

The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at the Soldiers Plot.

Past commander of the Ironton post, Louie Sheridan, said there will be a benediction by a local pastor, a singing of the National Anthem, and a short address on the reason for Veterans Day and ceremony. The Honor Guard will also be there to give a 21-gun salute and play Taps.

“What Veterans Day is, is a thank you for the veterans that are still serving,” said Sheridan. “For anyone that’s every put the uniform on.”

Sheridan said everyone who enjoys his or her freedom should thank a veteran.

Also continuing a Veterans Day tradition, Fairland Middle School is having its annual breakfast to honor veterans at 9 a.m. in the school’s cafeteria.

Principal Jim Roberts said that any and all veterans are welcome to attend. The Fairland High School Choir will perform and two students, Shelby Naegele and Sarah Warnock, will read essays they wrote about veterans.

Principal Roberts said the school wanted to show “a little hospitality to say we appreciate what they’ve done for us in this country.”

Fairland High will also have a flag etiquette and retirement demonstration by Proctorville VFW Post 6878 at 2 p.m. in the stadium. The middle school and West Elementary will also participate.

Fairland High Principal Chad Belville said the ceremony would be educational for the students as well as allow them to pay respects to veterans and interact with the local VFW post.

“We just felt like it would be a great activity to kind of hit both fronts there,” Belville said.

He also said that this would be the first year to do this kind of ceremony.

“It’s something that I wanted to start as far as interaction with the VFW to bring a little bit more awareness to Veterans Day,” Belville said. “With our country being in two wars right now, we felt it was important that our students took a moment to stop and think about what people are doing, fighting for our freedoms.”

Dawson-Bryant Elementary School will also have a flag etiquette ceremony by the Ironton American Legion for its second through fifth graders.

Guidance counselor Dannie Newman said that to kick off the day, the students, wearing red, white and blue, would meet around the flag pole to say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem.

Newman said this is the first time the school has done this, but it is important for the students. He also said the students have been making cards to send to soldiers.

Burlington Elementary School will be having an event for its students at 10 a.m. around the flagpole. While the flag is raised, the students will sing “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Marines will be on hand to fold the flag while fifth graders recite what each fold means. Each grade level will also sing a patriotic song and the fifth grade TAG students will recite poems.

The South Point High School History Club will sponsor the annual Veterans Day Assembly at 10 a.m. in the school’s gym.

Jack Nuckols, History Club sponsor and social studies teacher, said the school has been doing this assembly to honor veterans since the early 90s.

He said there would be a slide show with pictures of the veterans attending as well as information about their service and a free lunch for the veterans afterward.

The public is invited for the presentation.

Symmes Valley Elementary School is having a Veterans Day program at 11 a.m. for soldiers who are getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. There will be a dinner for the veterans and music provided by the music teacher. The event is open to the public.

Chesapeake Elementary School is having a concert performed by its second-graders to honor veterans. The students will sing patriotic songs while a slide show of local veterans is played.

Principal Jamie Shields said that this is the first year for the program, but they plan on turning it into an annual event.

The concert will be at 1 p.m. with an encore presentation at 6:30 p.m. and the public is invited.

CSX Transportation in Huntington, W.Va. will hold its Fifth Annual Military Appreciation Day for veterans who work for or retired from CSX. The event will be at 1 p.m. at CSX Huntington Locomotive Shop’s picnic area at 22nd Street and Sixth Avenue.

There will be a simple presentation where the veterans are recognized and presented with a certificate and pin. They will be able to speak about their experiences as well. A lunch for the veterans is to follow the ceremony.

Lori Lyninger, a member of the committee that organizes the event, said the ceremony is “something to show them that we appreciate them.”