COLUMN: Patriotism at its best
The sacrifices made by our veterans and their families have been at the forefront of our attention this past week as many area schools have presented Veterans Day programs to say “thank you for your service.”
I don’t recall an Armistice Day (later changed to Veterans Day) observance when I was an elementary student during World War II. However, I vividly recall some of the ways us kids got involved in the wartime effort.
We searched the fields and alleyways around our neighborhood for any kind of metal that could be recycled and converted into armaments for our soldiers in the battlefield. We would place it at the roadside and a metal collector would come by and pick it up.
We also used our pennies and nickels to buy victory savings stamps. Sugar was rationed and candy was scarce. Thus, we sacrificed sugary sweets to help keep our soldiers fed, clothed and armed no matter where they where fighting.
I had the pleasure of attending and covering Veterans Day Programs at four different locations in a span of seven days.
Hartselle Junior High kicked off the celebrations with a colorful and impressive program on Thursday, The band music and choral singing were fantastic, and an estimated 200 veterans of all ages were there to see, hear and applaud the student patriots.
The commentary of emcee Frank Parker was equally interesting and informative. The retired educator and Alabama Army National Guard colonel (retired) not only voiced praise to his fellow veterans and thanked them for their service but also commended the faculty and students for showing a high level of American Patriotism.
Similar programs were featured at Danville-Neel and Priceville Elementary Elementary Schools on the following Monday, where more than 100 veterans Both programs were led by students. What was most impressive at Danville-Neel was to watch and listen as the third grade choir sang several patriotic songs in front of a huge American flag. At Priceville Elementary, JROTC cadets were polished and precise in the presentation and posting of colors and flag folding and hat laying ceremonies.
Recognition of Morgan County military personnel who paid the supreme sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan was a highlight of the Morgan County Veterans Day Program in Priceville Tuesday. The playing of taps by two student musicians and a 21-gun salute also added to the effectiveness of the program.
As a veteran, thanks to all those who remembered!
Clif Knight is a staff writer for the Hartselle Enquirer.