IRMO, SC - Schools across District Five paid tribute to the brave men and women who have served our country as part of their annual Veterans’ Day celebrations. Schools held parades, special programs, patriotic performances and history lessons to honor veterans on their special day.
Chapin Elementary School kicked off the special day hosting a “Motorcade of Veterans” where students waved their own individual American flags and chanted “USA! USA! USA!” With smiles on their faces, veterans high-fived and smiled their way through the students sharing memories they will carry with them forever. From there, a special program was held as students sang a number of American favorites including “This Land is Your Land” and performed the service songs of each military branch.
“There is no way for us to repay the sacrifice of our veterans who protect our national and individual freedoms,” said Chapin Elementary School principal Lauren Prochak. “However, we seek to provide an opportunity for our veterans to be honored and recognized for the heroes they are. I believe in the American veteran and educating our students on the respect they deserve.”
Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hefner was in attendance for Lake Murray Elementary School’s Veterans’ Day event. The school featured presentations from third graders as well as choral concerts from their fourth graders. Six active duty soldiers were on hand throughout the day reading to classes. “Veterans’ Day at Lake Murray is a time where students learn about, and then honor family members who have served or are still serving in the military,” said Lake Murray Elementary School principal Claire Thompson. “I am always touched as students proudly stand during our programs to tell about a parent, grandparent or other family member who has served our country. Seeing the veterans stand as they are honored and then to receive the audience’s grateful appreciation will hopefully instill in our students the importance of the sacrifice they make for us to remain a free nation.”
Seven Oaks Elementary School also held their own “Motorcade of Veterans” followed by a program. Relatives of students that have served were on hand and honored during the program. Members in attendance were treated to a special moment when a re-enactment of soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima was performed. The historic photograph taken from February 1945 featured six United States Marines raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi during World War II. “At Seven Oaks Elementary School, we understand the importance of taking the time to reflect on the service and sacrifices that our veterans have made to keep us safe and our country free,” said Seven Oaks Elementary School principal Harriet Wilson. “Our students learn patriotism from our veterans.”
Chapin Middle School held its fifth annual Veterans Day Assembly “A Celebration of our Soldiers” where the audience was treated to several performances from its seventh and eighth grade honors chorus, eighth grade orchestra and eighth grade band. During the assembly, Student Resource Officer at Chapin Middle School Mark Weinschreider was recognized for his service and served as the program’s guest speaker. Known as “Deputy W”, Major Retired Weinschreider captivated the audience with a powerful speech about the importance of this day. “This is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Chapin Middle School principal Anna Miller. “Freedom is not free and some gave their all for this freedom. To honor and remember the ones that served is such an important experience for our students to be a part of.”
Other District Five schools took time to honor veterans and celebrate the freedom that only comes though the sacrifice of our military. Hefner said, “I was really touched by the program this morning. As a veteran myself, it means so much that our students take time to honor those who have served. All of our schools do a great job of celebrating Veterans’ Day.”