Public programs will salute military veterans

Sand Creek and Hayden elementary schools are having special, public programs Wednesday in honor of Veterans Day.

Sand Creek will present a musical program at 9 a.m. in the school’s gymnasium. Hayden’s program will begin at 1:30 p.m. and feature presentations by each grade.

The Jennings County Color Guard will participate at the ceremonies in both schools.

“We do this because we think it is very important for each student to understand what it means to serve their country. We want the children to understand how the military protects their freedom,” Sand Creek Principal Shelley Marshall said. “Before the program, in their classrooms, they have been studying current events and different facts about the military. The students, teachers and staff invite veterans they know for the ceremony. “

Sand Creek’s program also is designed to make the veterans feel special, Marshall added. The students will sing songs for the veterans and present each with a card to thank them for their service.

Sand Creek custodian Eric Deeg will give a speech during the program to tell the audience about his 10 years of service in the U.S. Navy.

“The kids really like him and they relate to him, so we thought his will help make it personal for them,” Marshall said.

Hayden Principal Brent Comer said the school’s annual program shows respect and honor for military veterans, but it also gives special meaning to the students and the general audience.

“Everyone seems to come together during our program. Every year there is a kind of bond that seems to develop between the veterans, the kids, the parents and the audience,” Comer said. “You know, our world would be very different if the military had not been there to protect us. Our community, even our schools would be operated very differently now if it were not for the military. It is important that we show respect and say ‘thank you’ for that.

“We are a small rural community and this program says a lot about who we are and we invite everyone to come and share it with us,” Comer added.

Other event

Also Wednesday at 11 a.m. is a Veterans Day ceremony at Hillcrest Cemetery in North Vernon. It will include a flag ceremony, color guard, firing squad and speeches by community leaders.

If you go

Veterans Day programs on Wednesday in Jennings County.

9 a.m.: Sand Creek Elementary School, 1450 W. County Road 500N, North Vernon.

11 a.m.: Hillcrest Cemetery, 490 Fourth St., North Vernon.

1:30 p.m.: Hayden Elementary, 55 S. County Road 685W, Hayden.