Local schools celebrated the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day with music, dance moves and flags on Monday.
Hendricks Elementary School principal Deryck Ramey told students and veterans who assembled in the gymnasium that President Woodrow Wilson made a proclamation before Congress that Nov. 11 would be Armistice Day, formally ending World War I. It later became Veterans Day to recognize all who have served.
“Boys and girls, we speak every morning about bravery, and never giving up,” he told students. “We have men and women in our house today who have done, and continue to do that for us. Many of them are your relatives. Many of them are your friends. Please make sure as you go home tonight, you tell them ‘thank you.’”
Hendricks’ celebration featured the fourth graders singing seven patriotic songs including “Thank a Vet,” “We Will Not Forget” and “Military Anthem,” which was an Armed Forces medley.
Coulston Elementary’s celebration Monday also featured a medley that recognized those in attendance who served in each branch of the military. Both current and former members of the military were asked to stand to be recognized while their branch’s song was played at both schools.
“On this day, Nov. 11, now and forever, we honor those who are brave, we honor those whose temper and relentlessness have granted us the freedom we continue to enjoy,” Ramey said. “They are soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and guardsmen. They are men and women who have sacrificed and continue to do so.”
Along with the fourth graders’ performance, kindergarten students also sang “There Are Many Flags In Many Lands” and “I Love My Country.”
The poem “I Stood Among Heroes Today,” written by retired Chief Master Sgt. Robert L. Hinshaw of the Air Force, was also read at Hendricks.
Captain Andrew Newkirk of the Indiana National Guard was the guest speaker at Coulston’s celebration. Newkirk attended Coulston growing up and is the father of a current student.
He told students about and showed photos from his time serving in Iraq, where he told them that the temperature was 135 (degrees) the day that one of the photos was taken, and in Kosovo, where he was on a peace keeping mission.
He also invited one student up to try on the different pieces of his flight gear while explaining what purpose they serve.