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Students thank veterans

The Sampson Independent - 11/13/2023

Nov. 11—Students, parents, teachers, staff, members of the community and a fair share of vets all joined together Thursday in the Clinton High auditorium for Clinton City Schools' inaugural Veterans Day Program.

"We've got a good crowd tonight and I thank you all for coming," CCS Superintendent Wesley Johnson said during the welcome. "When I was thinking about what it is I was going to say tonight to our veterans and to our parents that are in the stands, there's a lot that came to my mind, being that my grandfather and my dad were both both in the Army and in service organizations. The one thing that continued to come to mind was this — I'm proud to be an American."

"As Dark Horses, I hope that's something we all don't forget — that we're proud to be Americans," he continued. "When we can see and think about the things that are going on in other countries and other areas of our world. We need not forgot to think about the freedoms that we have and our sense of being able to feel safe and secure is thanks to those that have served. So again I say, I'm proud to be an American."

"I'm proud for each and every person, that's here tonight that has fought for our freedoms," he added. "We thank you and everyone for taking the time to come out for this event. I'm glad to be a part of it and I'm glad to be here with you."

After Johnson's rousing words were met with a room full of applause the first ever CHS Veterans Day Program kicked off, followed by plenty in store from the Clinton City Schools student body.

The CHS Army JROTC took to the stage first for Presenting the Colors which was followed up by the singing of the National Anthem by the kindergarteners of LC Kerr. That alone drew out a room full of smiles and pride as phones were out across the auditorium to record their performance.

That wasn't all they had planned, after the CHS Queens came forward to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with attendees LC Kerr went to action again. They'd show off their American pride and patriotism by performing an adorable rendition of Grand Ole Flag.

A heartfelt prayer with a message of gratitude was then delivered by veteran and 20 year National Guard serviceman Livis Freeman. Freeman retired a Staff Sgt. and prior to that he did a three year stent with the army.

More of the CCS youth took to the stage soon after, this time it was the second graders of Butler Avenue who read a patriotic poem for guests. There were posters on display throughout the program, all of which were hand drawn by Sampson Middle art students.

"Thank you for attending our Veterans Day Program," Jackson Delph said, "we're glad that you could be here. Veterans Day is a holiday that we all sometimes take for granted. We always remember Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving but we never remember a holiday that celebrates the heroes that give us our freedom. We should never forget the men and women who have served our country and allows up to keep our freedom.

"Veterans Day to me means that any everyone who served this country alive or passed should never be forgotten, but honored and celebrated," Delph continued. "That does not mean that we need to buy them gifts, but instead we just have to show them that we appreciate what they have and still are sacrificing for us."

During his words, entitled "What Veterans Day Means to Me," Delph then ended with a quote from Arthur Ashe: "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."

"So thank you," said Delph.

Following that one CHS student after another took turns on stage to pay recognition to each military branch and to present gifts to fellow CCS staff who they themselves are veterans.

"I want to first off ask everyone to give our veterans staff members and our students around of applause," CHS Social Studies teacher Hollis White said. "I also want to say thank you to Dr. Johnson, he had a trip he was supposed to go on but he postponed it so he could be here with us. Also thank you to Miss Sabrina Reeves for an amazing job with our sound and lighting."

"We had a wonderful night tonight," she added. "Thank you, yet again, to our veterans who have done the ultimate of serving, who would've given their lives if needed. Lets end the night by giving them another round of applause. Let's not forget that Veterans Day is this Saturday, but also not just this weekend but any other time, let's remember to honor our veterans. "

Reach Michael B. Hardison at 910-249-4231. Follow us on Twitter at @SamsponInd, like us on Facebook, and check out our Instagram at @thesampsonindependent.

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