BELPRE - Veterans from the Belpre community gathered for two ceremonies in their honor at Belpre City Schools Friday.
Because schools are closed for the observed holiday Monday, the district's schools chose to hold their ceremonies early.
"Veterans Day is not just a day to honor veterans, but to honor all Americans," said Nathan Greene, a Belpre resident and recent U.S. Army veteran of Afghanistan. "It's not just men we think about when we think of our military heroes, but all who serve and are willing to sacrifice for the country they love."
Photo by Jolene Craig
World War II veterans stand for recognition Friday afternoon in the Belpre High School gymnasium as members of the community, students and school staff thank them for their service.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Nathan Greene, a Belpre resident and recent U.S. Army veteran of the war in Afghanistan, speaks at the Belpre High School Veterans Day program Friday afternoon. Greene also spoke at Belpre Elementary School Friday morning.
Greene spoke at both the Belpre Elementary School morning program and the afternoon more somber ceremony at Belpre High School.
"It went wonderfully," said elementary school principal Joy Edgell.
More than 40 local veterans from conflicts, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, attended the elementary school program.
During the hour-long morning ceremony the students in kindergarten, first and second grades sang and the program ended with a standing ovation for the veterans.
"I had several positive comments from the veterans who attended," Edgell said. "It was a lovely day."
Roughly 30 veterans, many the same people, attended the high school's program at 2 p.m. where Greene asked those who served in conflicts to stand and be recognized. At that time, veterans from the wars listed stood and were honored by the community members, school staff and students.
The high school ceremony included musical selections by the band and choirs, which ended with a performance of "Taps" by student Ryan Epperly.
"Now will be the time for the 9-11 generation to stand up and play a pivotal role of growing America," Greene told the high school crowd. "Just like the greatest generation did.
"We are a people who have overcome the world's most evil men," he said. "We are a country that always does what is necessary to make our country better and this is what a veteran is."