By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
WVHS Lonza Veterans 1:
The Student Government Association at Walker Valley High School decided to do something unique to recognize Veterans Day.
Rather than hosting a Veterans Day event at their school and inviting veterans to visit, the students took their special observance to a group of local vets.
Walker Valley is paired with chemical company Lonza through the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce’s BEST Partnership program, or Business and Education Serving Together. So, the students chose to hold a Veterans Day event for the veterans who work at their partner business.
“We were excited that these students decided to come out and honor our veterans,” said Janice Baker, human resources manager at Lonza. “They are a shining example for the youth in our community — and in America.”
The SGA students were bused over to Lonza and staged an observance at the company’s flagpole. They were met by Baker and nine veterans who were working during that shift.
Their observance included a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of a patriotic song and remarks from SGA President Hunter Shamblin and SGA Parliamentarian Gable Willis.
Beforehand, each student had written a letter of appreciation for a specific veteran at Lonza. The students presented letters to the veterans in attendance and gave Baker letters for all the others. They had also made several signs to show their appreciation.
Willis said he and his peers hope this gesture will help the veterans know how much they are appreciated.
“We really do appreciate them more than we can say,” Willis said. “Our veterans over the years helped lay the groundwork for the country we live in today.
SGA member Abigail Stewart admitted it was a simple event, but added she hopes the effort will cause a “ripple effect” of kindness.
Each veteran who received a letter could take it home with them and share it with his or her family. She said these letters could let their families know how much their service is appreciated, and perhaps even inspire them to show more appreciation to those who have made sacrifices for them.
“We thought it was something important to be involved in,” added SGA student Kaitlyn Taylor. “Even something like this can turn into something bigger.”
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