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‘Patriotism is little hands holding little flags’

November 13, 2010

Post & Mail photo/Becky Hand — James Borcherding, left, and Daniel Bender stand to be recognized at the Coesse Elementary School Veterans Day program Thursday. Borcherding served in the Army during World War II and Banter served with the National Guard in Bosnia in 2002 and Iraq in 2007.

Coesse Elementary School students have been taught well about the importance our veterans have played in the American freedoms we enjoy.
Thursday, they presented a Veterans Day program under the direction of Becky Walter, choir director, honoring veterans from their community, many with direct descendants in the school.
Called “America, the land of Heroes” the program guide stated “Patriotism is little hands holding little flags.” Throughout the various patriotic songs, that is just what the students did, making the bleachers a sea of waving red, white and blue.
The deep rich voice of the Singing Auctioneer, Dane Bailey, welcomed the students, teachers, veterans and guests with “Grand Old Flag,” “America” and “In God We Still Trust.”
The fifth grade choir impressed with their memorization of not one but three verses of the Star Spangled Banner, and the entire program was performed like clockwork, a tribute to their good preparation and teaching.
The veterans couldn’t help but feel the respect and gratitude of those present, each one recognized and a short history of their time served read by 5th grade teacher, Myra Schmidt. Thirty-eight men and women were recognized and presented with a plaque and a long-stemmed red rose as their student sponsor(s) stood with them.
A reading by the students described the little white table which has been set since the Vietnam War on Veterans Day in the mess halls of our servicemen and women as a tribute to those who are missing in action or prisoners of war.
The table has an empty chair, salt to represent the tears of their families and an upturned glass symbolizing that they cannot be here.
Veterans from World War II, Vietnam up to and including through the present war in Afghanistan stood to be honored by the next generation of Americans at Coesse Elementary.
When the young honor and respect the old, hope for the future of the nation is restored.

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