For more information, please contact Beau Dickenson, History and Social Science Coordinator for Rockingham County Public Schools.
There were a number of activities and events in Rockingham County Public Schools to recognize the importance of Veterans Day. Our schools seek to honor the service and sacrifices made by our fellow countrymen and members of our community.
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East Rockingham High School held a Veterans Day Ceremony during a school-wide assembly on Friday, November 8th. They invited veterans in the area to attend while patriotic songs were performed by the band, the chorus, and individual students. The Social Studies teachers at East Rock also had students compose letters, poems, and songs in class that were later read during the ceremony. One of the students read a letter to her father, a veteran of the Army that recently retired after 22 years of service, who was in attendance at the ceremony.
Wilbur S. Pence Middle School had the following morning announcement read over the P.A. system: “Today is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor those who have fought to protect our freedoms. Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I, which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors living military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.” In addition, 6th grade US History students discussed Veterans Day and how it relates to their unit on World War I. Students in 7th grade Civics wrote “Thank You” letters to the veterans of the community.
J. Frank Hillyard Middle School had a special morning announcement by veterans that now serve on the school faculty.
Elkton Middle School social studies teachers discussed the origins of Veterans Day, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the significance of Arlington National Cemetery.
At McGaheysville Elementary, the students decorated the hallways, a Boy Scout color guard presented the flag, and the fourth grade sang patriotic songs. Local veterans were also invited to attend. Marianne Cline, a 5th grade history teacher, writes, “this annual event helps our students understand that our veterans are the living history of America.”
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Lacey Spring Elementary had an essay contest for fifth graders and a Wall of Honor with student-designed paper stars that recognize local veterans. Local vets were invited to have lunch with the students during a red, white, and blue day celebration. One class wrote a letter to the platoon of a teacher’s son that is deployed overseas.
Peak View Elementary held a Veterans Day assembly that honored the contributions of local veterans. The school also held a student essay contest on the importance of Veterans Day and the winners read their responses during the school-wide assembly.
Linville-Edom Elementary also conducted an assembly where fifth graders presented poems about Veterans Day in honor of those that have served in the military. The Linville assembly also included the pledge of allegiance, a student reading of the history of Veterans Day, a video honoring veterans, and some patriotic songs led by the music teacher. Linville also had a number of individual classroom events planned after the school-wide assembly: Fifth graders enjoyed the opportunity to hear a short presentation from a veteran who served as a medic; Fourth graders did some reflective writing about the meaning and importance of Veterans Day in their writing journals; Second graders studied a Veterans Day poem in reading class; First grade created a morning message discussing what a veteran is and the importance of their job – they also had a poem/song included in their poetry binder titled, See the Veteran; Kindergartners learned about how the military protects freedom and related it to the flag and why the pledge is said – they also held a Veterans Day “read aloud.”
Cub Run Elementary’s historic bell in the front lobby was rung 11 times at 11 o’clock by a local veteran, Lieutenant Colonel Max Von Arnswaldt, in order to symbolize the origins of Veterans Day during the First World War. Veterans Day was originally known as “Armistice Day” – a day that memorialized the ceasefire at the end of World War I that took place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Several activities also took place in each grade level ranging from veteran “thank you” letters to the singing of the National Anthem.
John C. Myers Elementary had a Red, White, and Blue Spirit Day to honor local veterans. They also read a Veterans Day poem during the morning announcements and the whole school made cards to send to a local VFW post.
Elkton Elementary School third graders conducted an assembly of patriotic music that local veterans were invited to attend. Veterans were recognized and they explained to the children how they served our country. The third graders also performed at the Elkton town gathering on Monday morning in Stonewall Jackson Park. 2nd grade teacher, Lisa Lewis writes, “the veterans that attend this special ceremony are always so appreciative.” 4th and 5th graders also attended this special event.
John Wayland Elementary 4th graders presented a patriotic music program, “All American Me and You”, at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12th. The 2:00 p.m. program was an assembly for all students. Parents and family members attended both performances. At the 2:00 p.m. assembly, they specifically honored the veterans in the local community.
Ottobine Elementary held a school-wide assembly at the end of the day with some local veterans present to participate.
South River Elementary had a number of activities planned across the school: Pre-school students read Hero Dad and made eagles out of handprints; Kindergartners made “flag-topped” pencils (one for the students to take home and one to give to a Veteran); Second Graders visited a Veterans Day museum, read a Veterans Day article, and wrote “Thank You” letters to Veterans of the local American Legion; and Fourth graders read Thank You, Soldier and wrote “Thank You” letters as well. The school also invited local veterans to eat lunch with the students.
Fulks Run Elementary invited local veterans to eat lunch with the students and attend the School Board meeting on Monday evening.
Plains Elementary had videos and book readings in the Library that celebrate Veterans Day.
River Bend Elementary had a number of activities planned across the various grade levels. Kindergartners designed a thank you poster for local veterans after reading a story that explained the significance of Veterans Day. 2nd and 3rd grade classes performed a Veterans Day program for the school and for the public. Veterans were invited to attend and they were recognized during the program. They were also invited to join the teachers and students at lunch. The 4th graders created digital posters in the computer lab to honor a veteran in their life. 5th graders incorporated science into a Veterans Day lesson by making an MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) in class. These students prepared food using a chemical reaction to create heat – very similar to how soldiers use a similar scientific process to prepare food in the field.
At Pleasant Valley Elementary, students recognized Veterans Day by combining their Art and Writing Skills. Pictures show first and fifth grade students describing their thoughts, ideas and appreciation to our Veterans. Students in Karen Komara’s 5th grade class designed male and female solders with HERO acrostic poems for Veterans Day. They will be forwarded to soldiers in Afghanistan for the holidays to show our appreciation for everything they have sacrificed to keep us safe. Mrs. Pillichody and Mrs. Beach’s class talked about what it means to be a veteran, using the word VETERAN to make an acrostic poem to send to the soldiers in Afghanistan.