For weeks, my 8 year old has been roaming around the house singing military anthems at the top of her lungs. No, she’s not ready to enlist. She’s been practicing for her school Honor Choir’s Veteran’s Day Concert. Yesterday we got a sneak preview when the 3rd graders performed some of their songs at a local Assisted Living Facility. The performance started with “The Star Spangled Banner”. Then the children brought me to tears with “Songs of the Soldier,” a medley of service songs including the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force. It was heartwarming to watch the faces of the many veterans in the audience light up when they heard their military branch’s song. They ended their performance with a song entitled “You Are Our Hero”, which had the tears collecting in the corners of my eyes once again.
Today the 3rd Grade Honor Choir joined forces with the Middle School 4th-6th Grade Choir in a presentation honoring our local veterans. The 3rd graders opened with “On Veteran’s Day” then combined with the Middle School to perform “America To Thee We Sing”. Next there was a video presentation of Southside’s Elementary through High School students stating what Veteran’s Day meant to them and why they appreciated our military. The choirs then sang “Song of the Soldier”. As each branch’s service song was sung, the Boy Scouts presented their flag and that group of veterans stood to be recognized. The program continued with the Presenting of the Colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and “The Star Spangled Banner,” along with an emotional story from our State Representative about the meaning of freedom and the importance of service (both military and community). The program concluded with the Middle School choir singing “Everyday Heroes”.
For us, the most meaningful part of today’s event was our daughter’s heartfelt reading of her essay on the video montage.
“I appreciate our military because they sacrifice their lives for our freedom. They give up years of their lives to keep us safe. They go to dangerous places to protect our country. Military families have to move almost every year. Members of the military have to spend long amounts of time away from their families. Being in the military is not easy (for the soldiers or their families) so I appreciate what they do for us. Thank you dad and PopPop for protecting our country.”
By the time she had finished listening to her part of the video she was overcome with tears, as were her father and I. I know her daddy was proud to hear her words today, as I know her grandfather and great-grandfather will be. I’m sure her many other family members who either served or supported that service will appreciate her profound gratitude for their sacrifice as well.
We would like to offer our most sincere thanks and appreciation, today and every day, to all of our nation’s veterans for their service and sacrifice.