Veterans’ Day 2016 was extra-special for IHMS students as they held their first-ever Veterans’ Day Celebration! And not only were students able to honor our veterans, the event was combined with quarterly awards, making the day not only a celebration of veterans, but a time for them to see what their support of our country has allowed our students to accomplish.
The day started with a parade of around 30 honored veterans through the school into the gym, followed by 7th and 8th grade students. The halls were lined with posters, stars and chains made by students, featuring the names of veterans special to them. The procession was led by a bagpiper. When veterans arrived at their seats, each found a unique poem about honoring veterans, Veterans’ Day, or country pride, also written by students.
The ceremony started with performances by the 60+ Sixth Grade Choir and the Chamber Orchestra, plus taps played by a student and the Star Bangled Banner sung by IHMS Choir Teacher Heather Koester. Physical Education teacher Shalee Osborne, a veteran herself, gave a moving keynote.
Every Middle School student had written a poem, and two poems from each grade were chosen to be read at the assembly. In addition, 10 students from each grade received Pride awards, chosen by teachers for taking care of themselves, others and the environment; having pride in their own personal accomplishments and the accomplishments of their fellow braves; and carrying out responsibilities before, during and after all classes.
Then it was time for the main reason for the gathering: to thank our veterans. Students read each honored guest’s name while the theme song for their armed force was played.
This unique celebration was moving for veterans, students and staff alike.