School Programs Honor Veterans
Several local schools held programs Friday in honor of Veterans Day.
Magnolia High School
Magnolia High School’s program began at 9 a.m. Friday morning in the school’s gymnasium. Student emcee of the event was Mac Roberts. Several students spoke or read poems at the event including Sarah Goddard, Amanda Mayo, Julianne McIlvain, and Alex Miller. Musical selections were by the MHS band and choir. Faculty advisors of the event were Amanda McPherson and Eileen Miller.
Several veterans spoke to the students in attendance. The first speaker, Father John P. McDonough, major of the United States Air Force, spoke to the audience about the spike in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among veterans and those returning home from war. McDonough stressed the importance of keeping an eye out for the warning signs of mental illness and suicide, both among veterans and students’ own peers.
Pastor Bruce Taylor, who had served with the US Navy, spoke about the different types of veterans, especially military spouses. Taylor referred to his wife who supported him throughout his military endeavors. “(Military) wives are so extremely important,” Taylor said. “My greatest hero is my wife.”
Paul Fuchs who served with the United States Air Force commended Magnolia for their Veterans Day program, while Ed Sims, who served with the US Marine Corps, told students he could think of two words: “Yes sir!” Sims asked the students if Magnolia was going to beat the Yellow Jackets at Friday’s football game, in which they enthusiastically replied, “Yes sir!”
Other honored guests and veterans at the program included Darrell Gray (US Army), Dave Estep (US Army), Ray Estep, (US Army), Ed Sims (USMC), Paul Fuchs (USAF) and his wife Jane, Ralph Koontz (US Army), Randy Adams (US Army), John Brookover (USMC), Harold McClain (US Coast Guard) and his wife Joan, Ted Kacor (US Navy), Charles McIlvain (Army National Guard), Bill Wilson (Army National Guard), Bruce Taylor (US Navy) and his wife Sharon, William Angus (US Army), Donna Peter (US Women’s Air Force), and Ricky Farley (US Army).
“I am so proud of Magnolia High School,” said Miller. “Our students showed their respect and appreciation for our veterans.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, “Taps” was played and the audience left the gymnasium in complete silence.
New Martinsville School
It was apparent that a lot of thought, efforts, and emotion was put into the Veterans Day program held at New Martinsville School Friday, 1 p.m.
A brief history of Veterans Day was given and NMS students enthusiastically sang several songs, including: “I Pledge Allegiance,” “Patriotic Medley,” “This America,” “Taps,” and “America.”
Music teachers involved in the program included Barbara Daly, who directed the entire second, third, and fourth grades in song; Bruce Ensinger, who directed the fifth and sixth grade choirs; and Angelle Copeland, the seventh and eighth grade music teacher who took care of the sound system.
Veteran Mike Kocher of the American Legion Post #28 presented and retired the colors at both the start and conclusion of the program. Father John P. McDonough, major of the United States Air Force, offered the invocation at the beginning of the program.
The several veterans in attendance were recognized by branches of service; they were asked to stand and be recognized when their branch’s theme song was played.
At the conclusion of the program, veterans in attendance were asked to pick up a bundle of thank you letters, which were written by NMS students. McDonough encouraged the students to keep writing letters to United States military servicemen and women.
Two programs were presented in order to accommodate all of the NMS student body.
Long Drain School
On Friday, the eighth grade class at Long Drain School held a Veterans Day luncheon and program.
The program included the history of Veterans Day, quotations about Veterans Day, a poem, two PowerPoint presentations on the symbolism of the flag and seal, and concluded with each veteran being introduced.
A total of 31 veterans joined the class for lunch followed by the program.
The entire program was planned, presented, and paid for by the eighth graders. The veterans were very thankful for the program and the eighth graders enjoyed the experience.