Students find new ways to honor veterans
By Haley Schichtl
Students at Carroll County schools found creative ways to observe Veterans Day last week, honoring those who have served our country’s military last week.
Each Berryville school campus held a drive-through event for veterans as students handed out goody bags with treats and U.S.A. face masks.
Berryville High School principal Donnel Armstrong said the two-hour celebration rotated groups of students since COVID-19 restrictions don’t allow them to all be gathered outside at once.
“This year’s a different year; normally we have a big assembly and bring vets in and feed them and have people speak,” superintendent Owen Powell said. “It’s fun and the veterans enjoy it, but with us not being able to assemble like that, we just had to change the way we do it.”
Armstrong said the high school band played, and the high school art students made posters.
“I think we had about 30 veterans that came through at the high school,” Armstrong said. “We need to support our veterans and remember how important it is, the sacrifices they’ve made.”
Armstrong said history teacher Tyrel Weston will be putting together a video of footage from the day and pictures of the community’s veterans, which will be posted on Facebook.
“Hopefully this isn’t our norm and next year we can go back to our traditional ceremony,” Armstrong said.
Students and staff at Green Forest schools watched a virtual assembly prepared by high school teacher Blaine Lawrence.
The assembly featured clips of songs performed by the Green Forest Band and Chamber Choir, a slideshow of veterans who have been in the school district, and a keynote speaker, Lt. Col.Johnny Elmore.
Members of the student council began the assembly and introduced Elmore, who just retired after 14 years of teaching social studies at the high school.
Elmore graduated from Green Forest High School in 1971, and served in the Air Force from 1975 to 2003.
“I spent almost half my life in service to this great country,” Elmore said in his speech. “When I see the flag, hear the National Anthem … or sometimes simply say the Pledge of Allegiance, I cannot help but shed tears … of pride.”
Elmore said it’s important to recognize the 20 million living veterans on Veterans Day, who sacrificed to ensure their friends, family and fellow Americans live in a safe country.
“I challenge you to thank a veteran. It matters,” Elmore said. “Our heroes, our veterans, are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Lawrence said Elmore’s keynote address was his favorite part of the assembly.
“I liked the personability of Mr. Elmore that he brought being a former teacher of the district,” Lawrence said. “Freedom’s not free — there is a cost, and the cost is a sacrifice of people putting their life on the line to protect our freedom.”
The assembly can be viewed on the Green Forest Schools website or Facebook page.
Fifth-graders at Eureka Springs Middle School came together to recognize the veterans in their own families.
Fifth-grade teacher Lynda Miller said the objective of the project was so the students would start a conversation with their parents and possibly learn something about their family.
“We did this so we could recognize our men who gave their lives or did wonderful things so we could live in a free country,” Miller said.
Paraprofessional John Cummings said he thinks it’s important to have kids open up a conversation they might not normally have with their families.
“When parents tell them, it probably means a little more,” Cummings said. “I think it’s good for them to start figuring that out.”