Several veterans were honored at Fultondale High School’s a “Tribute to American Veterans” on Thursday afternoon. Students sang patriotic songs, offered their reflections on freedom, remembered the 92 Alabama’s Fallen Heroes and applauded the veterans in attendance.

By Ashley McCleery

The North Jefferson News

This year several local schools paid their respects to those fighting for freedom, making Veteran’s Day more than just an excuse for a day off from school.

On Monday night, the kindergarten through second grader drama club of Snow Rogers Elementary School presented a poem about liberty as well as sung, “You Lift Me Up” during the Parent Teacher Association meeting.

The students, parents and teachers also watched a slideshow presentation about the history of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and recognized the veterans in the audience.

“It helps the students to understand that freedom is a valuable thing that doesn’t come easily and should be celebrated,” Snow Rogers principal Robin Gillespie said. “We wanted to remember the sacrifices they [soldiers and veterans] make to preserve our freedom.”

Fultondale High School also remembered those who had served the country with their “Tribute to American Veterans” program on Thursday afternoon in which students sang patriotic songs, offered their reflections on freedom and acknowledged the veterans in attendance as well as the 92 Alabama soldiers slain since Sept. 11.

During the reading of Alabama’s Fallen Heroes, about 40 students brought carnations and American flags to the front, lining rifles and helmets and creating a memorial.

Also, several students shared their thoughts on freedom and liberty, one of who was freshman Blake Bush. Bush said he wrote and recited his poem because he was in awe of the veterans who had fought for America.

“It’s about how I was feeling knowing they go into a place they’ve never been before and fight the enemy,” Bush said. “Just think about how many people have died to keep this land free.”

And student council president Amber Key said she’s glad students are starting to take Veteran’s Day more seriously. “I used to think nothing of Veteran’s Day but that changed once my brother went to Iraq. After a family member goes over there, it becomes more personal.”

According to Fultondale teacher Stephanie Robinson, students are becoming more aware of those fighting right now because some of the soldiers are brothers or friends. But, she said she it’s still important for them to remember the ones who have served, suffered and battled for the country in the past.

“I don’t want our children to forget the struggles and battles that took place for our freedom,” Robinson said. “I don’t want our students to forget and not pay honor to those who made sacrifices.”

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