BLOUNTVILLE — Indian Springs Elementary School third- and fourth-graders honored veterans Tuesday with songs, a presentation of facts about veterans and the U.S. flag and a recitation of a poem about veterans.
The annual Veterans Day program was held in the gym with help from the Sullivan North High School Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) color guard, and the musical numbers were under the direction of music teacher Sherry Gillum. An encore performance was held Tuesday night.
Also included in the event were students reciting various facts about Veterans Day and veterans in general, as well as recitation of the “Soldier Poem” by Angela Goodwin from the WallUSA website. The students reciting it were Evie Heindselman, unidentified, Judith Hilton-Abernathy, Kamdyn Hilliard, Abby Smith, Averie Case, Tierstyn Cassidy Cassidy, Davis Plaas and Emily Fleenor.
The poem says, in part:
“There is discipline in a soldier.
You can see it when he walks.
There is honor in a soldier.
You hear it when he talks.
There is courage in a soldier.
You can see it in his eyes.
There is loyalty in a soldier
That he will not compromise.
A soldier serves their country first
And his life is left behind.
A soldier has to sacrifice what
Comes first in a civilian’s mind.
If you are civilian, I am saying this to you:
Next time you see a soldier,
Remember what they do.
A soldier is the reason our land
Is ‘home of the free.’
A soldier is the one that is brave
Protecting you and me.”
“At Indian Springs, we love our veterans,” Gillum said.
Interim Principal Mark Pendleton thanked those who helped with the program, including Gillum, third- and fourth-grade teachers, parents, students, veterans and the North NJROTC.
Among some of the facts students presented:
— About 25 million living veterans are in the United States, including 9.3 million older than 65.
— Veterans Day has no apostrophe and is a national and state holiday. It was first known as Armistice Day to mark the armistice that ended hostilities in World War I.
— The World War I solider buried at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington Cemetery was interred on Nov. 11, 1921, three years after World War I ended. Each year, the president or someone in the administration places a wreath at the tomb.
— Memorial Day is to honor and remember veterans who died in service, especially in battle. Veterans Day is to honor living veterans.
— $1.6 million or about 8.1 percent of veterans are women.
— About 35 percent of living U.S. veterans served in the Vietnam War.
— A U.S. flag to be displayed at half-mast, done by presidential proclamation to mark mourning or other noteworthy events, is raised quickly but lowered slowly to half-mast.
— You can spot a veteran at a public playing of the national anthem at a sports or other event by those who do a military salute. Civilians are supposed to put their hands over their hearts.