The red carpet was rolled out for local veterans at Bennett’s Mill Middle as students and staff honored them for their service during a special celebration with tributes from the school’s fine arts department.
The band, orchestra and chorus gave combined and individual performances featuring patriotic music and songs. A joint performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” started the concerts followed by separate presentations of “A Soldier’s Hymn” by the orchestra, “From Where I Stand” by the chorus, and “For Our Heroes” by the band.
Student Abby Helvig, the school’s essay contest winner, read her poem, “Patriotism,” at the assembly.
An emotional moment in the program came with the presentation of an $850 check to the Wounded Warrior Project. Accepting the donation was retired Staff Sergeant Clifford Morey whose tears of gratitude captured the hearts of everyone in attendance.
“This money will go toward more than providing special events. It will help provide clothing to soldiers that were pulled off the battlefield and are now recuperating in hospitals in England and Germany, and it will help warriors’ families by providing support programs to help them cope as they go through the healing process too, “ said Morey who added that he suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and that the Wound Warrior Project has helped him and his family.
Students raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project by selling paper chain links for 25 cents. The linked chains line the hallways of the school.
Lieutenant Colonel Todd Traver, Battaalion, Commander of the 429th Multifunctional Medical Battalion in Savannah, was the keynote speaker. He gave a brief history of Veterans Day, and talked about its significance and why it is important to veterans. He told students the best way they can honor veterans is to be good Americans.
“Help organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project, register to vote when you turn 18 and vote in every election, and when you see a veteran say ‘thank you’ because those words mean a lot to those who have served,” he explained.
The Fayette County High Army Junior ROTC Color Guard presented and retired the Colors during the celebration.
The Bennett’s Mill Middle fine arts department, social studies department, student council and eighth grade English department planned the event.