Students enrolled at Clay Local Elementary Schools filled the auditorium on Veterans Day to learn about the importance of military service by reflecting upon those in the community and people they may know who have served.
This event was a return to Veterans Day assemblies for the district, after a break sparked from the Covid-19 shutdown.
“We were unable to have people in the school,” Principal Shane Rhea said. “Obviously, there was a time kids weren’t even allowed in the school. It is just a very important day to me, instilled by my mother, and I think kids need to know what veterans stand for and the sacrifices they have made for our country.”
The principal explained that, not only were area veterans welcome to meet with students, but teachers present were recognized for their sacrifices.
“I feel like a lot of kids today aren’t aware of the sacrifices and the bravery that veterans have worked for,” Rhea said. “Yes, they know them as teachers, but they don’t realize the sacrifices made by their teachers, custodians, bus drivers and a multitude of other people within the school setting who have all given. They don’t know their personal histories and what they’ve done in the past as veterans and serving in the military.”
Hundreds of flags were waving in honor of the veterans present, as Rhea and fellow teachers all passed out flags to each student.
“It is just something I thought would be neat for the veterans to see. It is a day we celebrate Veterans and we want them to be happy and feel that joy,” Rhea said. “I wanted the kids to hold these flags and see what they stand for and then wave them in salute to those present who served.”
Rhea said the effect was dramatic and he appreciated the kids being enthusiastic with their flags.
“It made me feel like I had instilled, even for a short time, just a little bit of my strong passion for veterans to kids. For them to have an idea of what it means to serve your country, what it means to wear that flag, why we stand everyday for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we stand for the National Anthem. I want them to respect the flag and the country.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved