Star spangled programs honor veterans and their service

With Veteran’s Day falling on a Saturday this year and no school the Friday before, both schools in Sanborn County took the opportunity to honor all local veterans with special programs and presentations on Thursday, Nov. 9. Sanborn Central started with theirs at 9 a.m. that morning, and then Woonsocket finished their school day with theirs at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.

Sanborn Central started their program with a stellar performance of the Star Spangled Banner sung by Mrs. Jennifer Karlen, the new band teacher for both schools. Cody Slykhuis, Student Council Vice-President, read an article about the history of Veterans’ Day, and then a video was shown with some Sanborn Central elementary students explaining what Veterans’ Day means to them. 

Carter Hitchcock, Student Council Treasurer, read an excerpt about Gunnar Becker, a 2003 Artesian-Letcher graduate who lost his life as a member of the United States Army during practice maneuvers while stationed in Iraq and serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hitchcock then read a poem written by Becker that was very appropriate for the event. 

Sanborn Central Student Council President Bryce Larson then gave a speech about the importance of the day and remembering those who have served and didn’t make it back home, and to also honor those who have served and continue to serve to keep the freedoms we enjoy intact in our great nation. After Larson’s speech, the seventh through ninth grade band played “America the Beautiful.” Larson followed with asking each veteran in attendance to introduce themselves and explain their service.

The program ended with a sentimental video naming all the students and staff who have members of their family who served in a branch of the armed forces, followed by a moment of silence for those who lost their lives serving or have since passed away after returning home and the playing of “Taps.”

Woonsocket’s program started with the Posting of the Colors by members of the Woonsocket American Legion Post 29 with all attendees saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, members of the sixth-grade class welcomed everyone to the program and spoke a little about the purpose of Veterans’ Day and when it was created. They were followed by the high-school band playing a beautiful song entitled “Call to Heroes.”

Next, Woonsocket’s superintendent, Dr. Rod Weber, invited all veterans in attendance to the middle of the gym floor to introduce themselves and explain their years of service. The lineup went from the west end to the east end of the entire court, including members in wheelchairs who were brought from Prairie View Health Center. 

The Woonsocket Elementary students then performed “Proud to Be an American” with sign language, and the sixth grade followed with a Veterans’ Day reading and the explanation of the process of folding the American flag correctly into a triangular shape. 

The Woonsocket program ended with an emotional video of Toby Keith’s song “An American Soldier,” the playing of Taps and a thank you from the sixth-grade students who were in charge of the day’s program. Finally, the color guard retired the colors, and everyone was dismissed for a beautiful three-day weekend.

…See pictures in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

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