Hillsboro Elementary Students Celebrate Veterans
SONG- Grand Old Flag
That was the Hillsboro Elementary School Students musically celebrating Veterans Day and celebrating their veteran relatives they had invited to the observance and to join them for lunch at the school on Friday, November 8th. Similar Veterans Day pageants were held at each of the Pocahontas County Schools.
At the ceremony, the students performed patriotic songs and the Pocahontas County Honor Corps introduced themselves to the students, with each describing his or her military service. Rick Woodall, the Commander of the Honor Corps talked to the students about the importance of showing respect for the flag; for the nation and for our veterans because of the freedoms they gave us through their sacrifices. Woodall told the students they can honor those veterans by removing their hats and holding a hand over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance; when the flag is presented at a parade; and during the playing of the National Anthem. He also explained to them that those freedoms also include the right for others to protest by disrespecting the flag. And while we may disagree with that, our veterans sacrificed much – some gave their lives- to protect that right to protest as well as all our other freedoms.
We briefly spoke to several of the veterans invited to the ceremony by a student. First up is Danny Arbogast who was invited by his granddaughter.
“I thank Hillsboro School for honoring the veterans” said Arbogast. “My granddaughter Kai reached out to me to come and have lunch with her, and that’s a huge honor. I was in the 82nd Airborne and I went to Panama and the Persian Gulf Wars. I think people don’t understand the type of country we live in. Our troops missed the holidays, Christmas, and all kinds of things, to protect our country and sometimes we don’t take time to think about that.”
Next, we talked to Staff Sergeant Brooke Goldsberry, invited by her daughter, Hailey, who is in the 3rd grade and her son James, a first grader, both students at Hillsboro Elementary School.
“I am with the West Virginia Army National Guard” said Goldsberry. “I have served almost seventeen years. I am here with my husband, who also serves; my son James Goldsberry and my daughter Hailey Goldsberry. The service has been a second family to me, and it’s something I am very proud to have passed down to my children -a love for country and a love for service.”
The final veteran we talked to was Dewey Beezley, invited by his grandson.
“I am Dewey Beezley, I am a veteran, I served in Vietnam” said Beezley. “I was in the Army for ten years. I am here because my grandson Eli is here. He invited me up for a Veterans Day program. We live in Charleston, so I thought we’d come up and be here for him.”
We’ll close this story out with the Hillsboro Students singing “I’m Proud to Be an American. “
SONG: Proud to Be an American