Veterans Day Honoring All Who Served

Area veterans will be honored during a Veterans Day program starting at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in the auditorium. After two years of having the ceremonies recorded and held virtually, veterans will return to Walworth Jt. School District #1. The general public is welcome to attend.

Eileen Coleman, the main office secretary, has organized the program for at least the past 10 years. Caitlin Dowden, school principal, will give the general welcome. Franchezka, the president of the student council, will then address the audience.

Three third-grade students will give the "Pledge of Allegiance," followed by Sherry Weis, vocal music teacher, joined by eight sixth-grade students and a few staff members singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." The audience is invited to join in the singing.

"I try to make it different every year," said Coleman, who gathers volunteers. "I always like that it is student driven."

A group of approximately 20 students will tell the history of the various service branches. The eighth-grade band will then perform "America The Beautiful."

 Peter Kahl of the VFW helps invite veterans and some parents of students are veterans. All are welcome. The veterans are invited to give their names, branches of service and when they served as the ceremony continues.

 Fourth-grade students will sing "God Bless America." Then, turning east of the auditorium, Kahl, a Navy vet, will lead a gun salute. The eighth-grade band members will play "Taps."

 Keri Cruz's first- and second-grade classes made lanyards with the American flag for the veterans.

Dowden will give the closing remarks.

 Veterans will be able to have coffee and cookies in the back of the auditorium and then in the staff lounge. During that time, Amy Phillips' school newspaper club members will interview some veterans.

 Adalyn, a seventh-grade student, participated in two past ceremonies.

 "I thought it was cool, special, nice," said Adalyn. "They (the veterans) felt nice to be appreciated for what they did."

 With approximately 470 students, 70 staff members and guests, a crowd of close to 600 people is expected to attend. Coleman, noting the school does not have many full assemblies, is pleased to not have a virtual ceremony again this year.

 "It didn't seem as special (virtually), not seeing everyone's faces smiling," she said.