By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
E.L. Ross Elementary School honored veterans with a special ceremony filled with patriotic songs and standing ovations for those who have served in the military.
The students had been told to invite any of their loved ones who had served in the military, and more than 30 veterans treated the students to their presence.
Lisa Earby, principal of E.L. Ross, explained the school has not always had a formal Veterans Day observance, but students drove the demand for one this year.
“We just had so many students who had veterans as parents and grandparents, and we decided to honor them the way they deserve to be honored,” Earby said.
Representatives of the school’s Boy Scouts troop led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, before the school’s show choir sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and a couple of other patriotic songs.
Fifth-grade teacher Jason Dasher spoke about the sacrifices veterans make and thanked the ones in attendance for their service.
He also read the names, military branches and years of service of each veteran. Each had the opportunity to stand and be applauded. Most of the veterans were the fathers or grandfathers of students, but there were family friends, a grandmother and an aunt as well.
When all was said and done, students, teachers and other guests gave all of the veterans a standing ovation, along with the kind of cheers one might expect to hear at a rock concert. The veterans were the rockstars of the day.
The principal said she was thrilled with the enthusiasm the students displayed as they helped plan and carry out the event.
She explained that students had been involved in many different aspects of event planning. Students helped set up for the ceremony, served the guests at a reception before the ceremony, photographed the events for the school yearbook and more.
“Our students are very patriotic – and see the importance of being patriotic,” Earby said. “I am proud of how these students honored those who have served our country.”
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