By Paige Bailey, Callie Threlkeld, Eleanor Steffen James Williams Middle School Writers’ Club
"I am a veteran and I am proud." - Mr. Jim Winquist, veteran.
"It's a time to remember who served and gave us freedom." - Mr. John Coyle, veteran.
After interviewing several veterans, we discovered what Veterans Day means, not only to us, but to the people who we are commemorating on this day.
Hello, we are seventh-grade students from James Williams Middle School. We are each part of the JWMS Band and JWMS Writer's Club. On Nov. 11, we had our annual Veterans Day Program, honoring our veterans for everything that they do and have done. This program was put together to show how thankful we are for our freedom and the people who fought for it.
"A day to honor people who have served and to reflect on the freedom we have," said Derek Lemmens, a seventh- grade teacher at the middle school and a veteran. And it's true. Veterans Day is a day to commemorate the veterans, and James Williams Middle School has displayed the respect they deserve. At this event, there was much to see and hear. With the seventh and eighth grade band playing an amazing selection of songs and the seventh and eighth grade choir singing a few tear-jerking anthems, a veteran is sure to feel appreciated.
Alongside the music, we had a special guest speaker, Mr. Glen Johnson, a 93-year-old World War II veteran. He gave a compelling and heart-warming speech about his life story and surviving World War II.
He is lucky to be here today, as are all of the other veterans that joined us at the program and are joining us in the world today. They sacrificed themselves for something they were unsure of or even if they would walk out alive. But they sacrificed themselves anyway for something greater as a whole - our country, their country.
As the Pledge of Allegiance states, "... indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." We think we owe that statement to our veterans. They fight for our liberty, they fight for our justice, and they ensure that these privileges are given to every single one of America's great citizens. But, unfortunately, that privilege didn't come without a price. We lose and have lost many to the hardships of war.
Adair Sexton, a veteran and one of the middle school's band directors, had the eighth and a few seventh grade trumpet players play, "Taps," a commemorating number in memory of those who have died for the benefit of all of us.
We view heroes as superhuman people fighting crime for their city. But heroes don't need a cape or powers. We have heroes all around us. They walk the streets as regular people, they work in the same building as you, they travel to other countries and fight for you. These heroes are, you guessed it, veterans.
Mr. Mike Harvey, a veteran, summed up the significance of those we honored today by saying the Veterans Day Program at James Williams Middle School is a "tradition that brings to mind the good things in this country."
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