Military veterans were honored at two special school assemblies in eastern Pike County on Monday, Nov. 11, which was national Veterans Day.
The annual early-morning assembly at Louisiana Middle School featured musical performances and speeches about patriotism. The afternoon assembly at BONCL School was made up of students’ renditions of patriotic songs.
After the local Apple Corps Color Guard posted the colors, music teacher Micah Gooden played “Taps” on trombone and sang “God Bless America” a cappella.
The middle school choir sang “Fly the Flag of Freedom” and “American Tears,” which honored fallen veterans.
“I will always be an American and always cry American tears,” the choir sang.
Louisiana-area veteran Bucky Ward read a lyric poem about veterans and what they have provided and concluded with, “No freedom isn’t free.”
Veteran Bob Ringhausen showed a video of Red Skelton, who did a routine on what the Pledge of Allegiance meant to him, with emphasis and insight on every word.
“It stuck with me because freedom is everybody’s job,” Ringhausen told the students packing the middle school gymnasium.
When the veterans in the crowd were asked if they would like to speak, only Vietnam veteran Karl Dewey did so, but it was straight from the heart.
“To the young people, remember, we have to have our liberties and freedom,” Dewey said.
“Don’t ever forget America and what you have. Don’t forget. We have to take care of America.”
There were no deep speeches but plenty of patriotic music performed by BONCL School students under the direction of teacher Beth Cook.
About 50 members of the public saw the pre-kindergarten through second-grade students sing “Shortenin’ Bread” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” before throwing their patriotic hats in the air.
The third- and fourth-grade classes sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” with Nathan Taylor and Will Sheppard leading them.
The third- through sixth-grade class reminded listeners that “There Are Many Flags” through the song of the same name but none quite as good as “our own red, white and blue.”
Fifth and sixth graders sang a “Yankee Doddle Medley” with Hannah Blackmore and Tricia Luke leading.
Arcada McCulley and Jordan Haynes led the third through eighth graders in “God Bless America.”
The middle school band played “America, the Beautiful” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.
Bradley Keely played a drum solo on “March Militaire” and Tyler Hopkins ended the program with a saxophone solo of “Amazing Grace.”