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Edison Middle School honors veterans

Edison Middle School Band Director Greg Meyers conducts the band Tuesday during a school assembly honoring veterans. The band played “My Country Tis Of Thee” and “America.” The school band and choir also came together and performed the service branch songs. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG –The students of Edison Middle School honored veterans Tuesday during assemblies to mark the service of veterans in commemoration of Veterans Day this week.

The school held two assemblies, each for half of the school, to accommodate COVID guidelines regarding large gatherings.

“This Veterans Day assembly is very near and dear to my heart as my dad served,” said Principal Janet Sears. “It is important that you to remember and realize why we are here.

“This Thursday is not just a day off from school, but it is a day for students to remember the veterans and be thankful for the freedoms they have. If it wasn’t for them, you wouldn’t have the freedoms you have today.”

Sears talked about the freedoms Americans have in being able to elect their leaders, talk about the things they don’t like within society and more. It was the veterans who fought and died and those who serve on a daily basis that allow those freedoms to endure, she added.

Edison Middle School Choir Director Cody Radcliff, a veteran of the National Guard, talks to students Tuesday during an assembly honoring veterans about the sacrifice of time the military gives, time away from families who also have to make sacrifices so their loved ones can do what they do. (Photo Provided)

The school honored four teachers who served in the military: sixth grade science teacher Charlene Collins (Marines), Band Director Greg Meyers (Army), Choir Director Cody Radcliff (National Guard) and regular substitute Benny Linn (22-year Army veteran).

“They are veterans,” Sears said. “They have served, fought and worked for your freedom.

“They are here every day teaching you. It is important to see the sacrifices they have made.”

Meyers, in presenting a prayer, asked everyone to remember those who have served and those who sacrificed during times of war.

“Today, we remember veterans both living and dead who fought on the land, in the air and on the water,” he said, adding as well as those who served and fought in far-off lands who did not come home.

Edison Middle School sixth-grade science teacher Charlene Collins, a U.S. Marine veteran, talked to the students Tuesday during an assembly honoring veterans about the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance and the American flag, talking about the meaning of each line and what the arrangement of the flag symbolizes. (Photo Provided)

He also asked everyone to remember first-responders who serve their communities daily.

“We call to remembrance of all veterans who have served in the Armed Forces of our nation and contributed to the greatness of our national defense,” Meyers said. “We are indeed grateful for their service and their sacrifice.”

Collins talked about the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance and the American flag, talking about the meaning of each line and what the arrangement of the flag symbolizes.

“In the United States we have the freedom to live our lives, freedom to do and say what we want and to complain about the issues we think need to be changed,” she said. “The Pledge … pays respect to those who served and who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.”

The choir performed the “Star Spangled Banner” and the band played “My Country Tis Of Thee” and “America.” Both came together and and performed the service branch songs. The school also played a video to remind students of what veterans have done over the years in fighting wars and defending the country.

Edison Middle School Principal Janet Sears honored the veterans the school has on staff during a Veterans Day assembly Tuesday. The school honored regular substitute Benny Linn (22-year Army veteran), sixth grade science teacher Charlene Collins (Marines), Choir Director Cody Radcliff (National Guard) and Band Director Greg Meyers (Army). (Photo Provided)

Radcliff spoke about the sacrifice many make in time away from their families. He has had serve months in dealing with the COVID pandemic.

“That is more time I don’t get back,” he said.

In thanking veterans for the ultimate sacrifice, thanks should also be given for those who spend time away from their homes and families while serving the country, Radcliff said.

“There are many who have invested more time than I have,” he said. “Our families are also making a sacrifice.

“There are a lot of families when soldiers take off there are things they have to do. They are making a sacrifice of their time so we can do what we do.”

Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon, Edison will have people holding signs in the community to thank veterans for all they have done. It will be held at Mary B’s Diner at 2212 Pike St. in south Parkersburg.

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