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Area schools honor veterans

Saluting the American flag. Saying “The Pledge of Allegiance.” Listening to the haunting sound of “Taps.”

Veterans from all over Crenshaw County were invited by our area schools to join them for Veterans’ Day programs, where they could be honored and where those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country could be remembered.

At Luverne High School last Thursday, several veterans attended the annual program that is sponsored by the LHS National Honor Society.

“Today, it is our privilege to say thank you to all American servicemen and women for what you have done for us in order to preserve our freedoms,” LHS senior Chad Free said, during his welcome address.

Senior Cami Gorey gave the history behind Veterans’ Day, and Ashley Hall gave a passionate reading of “Your Flag.” The LHS Concert Band played “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Hymn to the Fallen” before Haden Wilkes read the Roll Call of the county’s fallen.

LHS Principal Chuck Alford also recognized Hilda Maddox, who was also in attendance.

“She always reminds us to remember our veterans, and for that, we thank her,” Alford said.

“No one truly knows what sacrifices you have made,” he told the veterans in attendance. “Because of you and what you have done for our country, we hope that these young people will not have to make those kinds of sacrifices ever.”

On Nov. 11, Crenshaw Christian Academy also observed Veterans’ Day with many of the county’s veterans in attendance.

“Veterans’ Day is set aside to honor our veterans, both the living and the dead,” CCA English teacher Lisa Williams said. “On Memorial Day, we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but Veterans’ Day is especially to honor those still living.”

Neva Petrey sang a beautiful and powerful rendition of “America” before the “Roll Call of the Fallen” was read.

Sgt. 1st Class Ricky Beck was the guest speaker for CCA’s program. Beck belonged to the 1103rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, which was activated in May 2007 to provide combat support to units in Iraq.

“The missions did not go without loss of life,” an emotional Beck said. “Our first month in Iraq was our worst. We lost four soldiers—two by IEDs, one by EFP, and one by suicide—he was the youngest one—only 19.”

“Our base camp was constantly getting hit with mortar rounds and suicide bombers,” he said. “But, we all pulled together and completed our mission in Iraq in May of 2008. We really hated to leave our fellow troops behind.”

CCA Administrator Angela Carpenter expressed her hope that the students would always remember what they had heard that day.

“If we can’t set aside a day in our nation to honor our veterans, then what kind of Americans would we be?” she asked.

Highland Home High School held their Veterans’ Day program on Monday, November 10, and Brantley School held their program on Friday, Nov. 7.