By: Kimberly Boyd
Patriotic songs filled the air Monday morning at Mansfield High School as the Senior High and Junior High Choirs saluted our military in harmony. Then, the 4th Grade students of Mansfield raised their voices in appreciation to our local veterans. The students presented a beautiful program paying tribute to those across America of all Armed Forces who have served or currently serving devoting their time and those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom in America.
The morning kicked off with serving breakfast for our veterans. Then, the veterans as well as citizens, students, and teachers joined in the gymnasium as the program opened with Witcherville Troop 330 Color Guard presenting and posting the American and Arkansas Flag.
Next, Lt. Col. Robert W. Fulmer, who was recently inducted into the Arkansas Military Hall of Fame and the keynote speaker of the program, addressed the crowd explaining that “anybody who puts that uniform on and serves our country and has an honorable discharge” is a veteran. He challenged the listeners saying, “As we talk about the Pledge of Allegiance, I would like you to think what freedom means to you. So, I ask you, what does the flag mean to you?” He went on to address our veterans saying, “I can truly say, we have the freedoms we have today because of people like you that are here today.”
The High School Choirs, directed by Choir Teacher, Mr. Jordan Smith, sung the lovely song, “America the Beautiful” , and then student, Harleigh Mars, shared with the listeners the history of veterans day. Next, the choir sung, “My Country Tis of Thee” that led into Faith Rainwater, who shared with the crowd what it is like to be a veteran and thanking our military for their service and our country’s freedom.
The choir went on to sing a melody that saluted each branch of the military, inviting veterans of each branch to stand as their military branch song was sung. The song ended with the pledge and the national anthem.
Lastly, the program was concluded with a beautiful piece of music called, “Thank You, Military” performed by 4th grade students of Mansfield Elementary directed by Music Teacher, Mr. Jordan Smith. Tears filled many eyes, as their sweet voices rang out through the gymnasium.
Then, Mr. Smith played the taps on the trumpet to honor our fallen soldiers and veterans who sacrificed so much for our freedom and country.
Even though Veteran’s Day is set aside each year to honor our soldiers, not a day goes by that we should not be thankful for their service. Coming from a Military family, I know much time and sacrifice goes into being in the military. Sometimes soldiers miss Thanksgiving and Christmas with their families. Often soldiers miss their child’s birth or birthday party. Mothers and wives have to say good bye too early to their servicemen who bravely give their life for our country’s freedom. Being a veteran never means giving up the uniform or “patch,” but instead memories carry on as well as long lasting friendships made with their camaraderie. Once a serviceman, always a soldier. Their sacrifices are still given, so that you and I can proudly stand and say, “The flag still stands for freedom.”
Please remember our veterans and their families during the holidays. In a world full of hate, disagreement, and political debates, soldiers are still serving post at home and abroad. Some may be retired and alone. Some mother or father may be missing their son or daughter who was a soldier and gave all, and some wife may be missing her husband who is serving in a foreign land. Some child may be crying for her father and counting the days of when he will return. Whatever the case may be, or whatever story has been untold, spread love and kindness to veterans so that their service does not go in vain.
By: Kimberly Boyd