Larry Watson, an Army veteran, was the special guest of his four grandchildren last week for ACES’ “Thankful for Our Veterans” program. Watson is pictured with Jayda Brown, Layla Roberts, Carson Brown, and Savannah Roberts.
More than 50 local veterans packed into the Adair County Elementary School gym last Tuesday, along with teachers, school staff, and the entire student body for a Thanksgiving-themed program in their honor, “Thankful for Our Veterans.” The ceremony was led by students, and many veterans in attendance were relatives of the third, fourth, and fifth graders at ACES.
“We’re so thankful to be able to show our veterans just a small portion of how much we appreciate them,” says ACES Principal Steve Burton. “It’s one of our favorite days of the year and I’m very proud of the work and preparation our students put into it.”
Allie Brown opened the program with a short welcoming speech, and Luke Rich recited a prayer for the veterans. Following Rich at the podium was Brody Blair, who offered the introduction for the event’s guest speaker, Bro. Paul Patton. Patton recognized the men and women and offered a few remarks about the various wars and conflicts the United States has fought over the years. Two veterans in attendance – George Keltner and Stanley Rich – fought in the Korean War.
In addition to the various speakers, students led several songs as well, including a stirring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” from Gabriel Larguero. Trenton Page was announced as the winner of the poetry contest put on in conjunction with the event. Honorable mentions included Abby Jeffries, Sarai Collins, and Maison Karnes.
The highlight of the day, however, was when students were allowed to introduce their veteran guests to the audience. “Hopefully events like this teach our students how important our veterans are to us and how we wouldn’t enjoy all the liberties we do if it were not for them,” Burton says.
Brody Blair, left, with Bro. Paul Patton Tuesday at ACES’ “Thankful for Our Veterans” event. Blair introduced Patton, the program’s guest speaker, to his fellow students.