Members of Beverly American Legion Post 389 brought the message of Veteran's Day to students and staff of Beverly-Center Elementary School on November 7.
Veteran's Day began as Armistice Day, a day to remember the signing of the agreement that ended the fighting in the First World on the 'eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month' of 1918. Armistice Day has since evolved into Veteran's Day, a day to honor all those men and women who have fought and died to protect the freedoms of our country.
The program was introduced by Legion Auxiliary member Debbie Miller, herself a former member of the United States Marine Corps. She then turned the program over to Steve Wainwright and members of the American Legion who presented the colors. The American Flag was brought into the gym by the color guard and presented to "Call to the Colors," played by guard member Vic Smith. Students were reminded of the importance of honoring the flag and how much it means to veterans. Wainwright told students he's seen them along parade routes showing proper respect for the flag and encouraging those with them to show that same respect. It's that kind of behavior, Wainwright said, that will teach future generations the values for which the veterans fought.
In introducing the Legion members present, Wainwright asked each member to state their branch and areas of service. Those present were: Katie Wainwright Tucker - Army, Thailand, Australia, and the United States; Dennis Walburn - Air Force, United States; Steve Wainwright - Army, United States; Debbie Miller - Marines, United States; Whitey Meyers - Army, Korea; Vic Smith - Army Ranger, Germany, Viet Nam, and the National Guard. Each member told the students a little about their service and all stated how proud they had been to serve our country.
Students from Mr. Jack Hennes' 6th grade class then presented their interpretation and understanding of the Bill of Rights - the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, which guarantee our personal freedoms. Participating students were: Lindsay Heiss, C.J. Crim, Mattie Newsom, Mahela Mankins, Karmen Schob, Brad Bates, Wilson Saul, Maddie Webb, Amanda Cooper, and Isiah Jones. According to Wainwright, the United States is the only country to give these basic personal rights to their citizens.
In addition to the Legion, the Legion Auxiliary and the Beverly Lions club were on hand to present students with a special Veteran's Day pencil and to honor the teachers for National Education Week with pocket calendars and apples. Auxiliary members were Marilyn Leach and Doris Wainwright. Representing the Lions Club were John and Kay Shreve.
Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel.