The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Area Veterans Honored at West Central

Students Honor Veterans

By Vicky Keever, West Central Middle School Teacher

West Central Middle School celebrated Veterans Day on Monday, November 10, 2008 with around 100 veterans and guests.

This marks the 3rd year that we have held a Veterans Day Program for our local community. The teachers and students worked together to make this community project a huge success.

This program could not happen without the complete support and involvement of all our staff; the teachers, associates, custodians, cooks, secretaries, and administration.

The teachers implemented special activities and cross curricular projects in their classes to help our students understand the importance of this holiday. They created posters, wrote thank you letters and essays, invited veterans into the classroom to speak, created "The Wall," tried MRE's in science class and experienced a day of "Boot Camp."

This year our Language Arts students wrote essays for the Patriot's Pen. It is a youth-essay writing contest endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals' and is a nationwide competition that gives students in grades 6, 7, and 8 the opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy.

The 2008-2009 Theme is "Why America's Veterans Should be Honored." The Language Arts teachers then chose one student from each grade to read their essay for the program.

The Henderson County American Legion Post #765 members presented the Color Guard. Mrs. Joanne Hilligoss led the singing of the national anthem while the high school band under the direction of Mr. Dan Potts played.

Scout Troop 63 and Scout Master-Jim Stonger lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Jeff Nichols, principal at West Central Middle School welcomed everyone and then introduced State Representative Richard Myers who gave a short address explaining to our students and guests the importance of remembering and honoring our veterans today, tomorrow, and every day.

Mrs. Lyn Zeilstra and son Zachary presented a retired military flag and certificate to Mr. Nichols as a request of her husband Jim who is serving in Afghanistan. He flew the flag over his base in honor of West Central Middle School and wanted it to be presented to the school.

The high school band played the theme song for the branches of the military.

Abby Hubbard read a poem entitled "Veteran."

The Middle School Chorus sang "Grand Old Flag" and "We, The People" with eighth grade narrators:

CC Whittemore,

Abby Hubbard, and

Clayton Pullen.

The Middle School Band then played "America the Beautiful."

Mrs. Jessica Orris read 6th grader, Alexandria Pirtle's report, Thomas Seitz read his 7th grade report and Evan Bell read his 8th grade report.

The high school band played "Lest We Forget" and "Land of Liberty March."

Montana Pence, student council president, read the story of Taps.

For our closing, Scout Troop 63 folded the flag while Mike Lewis and Rachael Alleman played Taps.

The Henderson County American Legion Post #765 then retired colors.

After taking a picture of our veterans, all guests were invited to the cafeteria for a reception. The cooks prepared refreshments for our guests.

The student council purchased material to make tie blankets for the different branches of the military. The blankets were then given away during the program to a veteran. We at West Central appreciate the Henderson County Museum for allowing us to borrow their uniforms for the 8th grade students to wear during the program.

If you missed the program this year, we hope you will try and come next year.

Scout Troop #63 conduct a flag folding ceremony in a salute to Veterans