Letter to the Editor

Students, adults moved by cermony

Friday, November 13, 2009

To the Editor:

Last week there was an editorial in the Indianapolis Star indicating how sad it was that grade school students were in class on Veterans' Day. They did not have the opportunity to participate in the parades and other celebrations for the day.

Monday I attended the Veterans' Day program at Central Elementary School. The staff and students did an exceptional job of celebrating the true meaning of Veterans' Day.

The school's interior was decorated in red, white and blue. On the wall as we entered were hearts, lovingly colored, and displaying the names of veterans known to the students. As veterans entered the school they were greeted by parent volunteers.

Each veteran was given a flag pin and a letter written by a fifth grade student.

The gym was full of community members, parents and grandparents. During the program the nearly 70 veterans were recognized and asked to stand. The oldest veteran was Helen Hurst, an Army nurse who served in World War II.

At age ninety-one, she proudly wore the same uniform she did during her service. The entire student body, lead by Mrs. Connie Huber, sang patriotic songs for the audience.

Mrs. Rita Bain, the school nurse sang a very moving version of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA"; she was joined by the students and audience on the chorus.

The Indiana Air National Guard, 181st Honor Guard preformed the Candlelight Ceremony.

What a moving ceremony!

As I looked around the audience, I saw many adults unashamedly crying.

Clearly this program had affected them.

It was obvious that the students learned something of the sacrifices these veterans made for our country.

This educational experience was one I'm sure they will not soon forget.

Thanks to all at Central for making such a wonderful program available to our community.

Anne Phipps