County offers full plate of activities

A Civil War re-enactment group and the local Veterans of Foreign War ceremonial honor guard will join forces to celebrate Veterans Day in a series of ceremonies Friday in Jennings County.

Sand Creek Elementary School, 1450 W. County Road 500N in North Vernon, begins the day’s events at 9 a.m.

“As long as I can remember, all the Jennings County Schools do something to observe Veterans Day and it is always done well,” said Mike Eastman, a life-long Jennings County resident and its veterans service officer. “Unfortunately, the ceremonial team cannot be everywhere at the same time, so we are mainly present at the Sand Creek and Hayden Elementary schools, but the other schools have things, too.”

In addition to a military honors ceremony, Sand Creek’s Veterans Day program will include music performed by the children, cards and tributes for the veterans attending, and speeches designed to teach the children about the contributions made by the military in the United States. The public is invited.

The Jennings County Honor Guard will join the Vernon Grays and civic leaders for a ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Hillcrest Cemetery, 490 Fourth St. in North Vernon. The annual event will include a flag ceremony, color guard, firing squad and speeches by community leaders. The public is invited.

Hayden Elementary School, 55 S. County Road 685W, will have a Veterans Day celebration at 1:30 p.m.

“We do this to recognize any and all veterans. We especially invite the veterans related to our students, but we extend that invitation to any veteran who would like to come,” Hayden Elementary Principal Brent Comer said.

Hayden Elementary’s ceremony also is a learning lesson for the students designed to teach respect and gratitude for the men and women who have served in the military, because Americans would live very differently if not for them, Comer said.

“Also, this day seems to bring us together as a community, The kids, the teachers, the moms and dads, the grandpas and grandmas. It seems this program brings us together in a moment of respect. We invite everyone to come and join us,” Comer added.

North Vernon Mayor Mike Ochs will join Vernon Mayor Dan Wright in the ceremonies as members of the Vernon Greys, a Civil War re-enactment unit, as well as in their official capacities during the ceremonies.

“Veterans Day is an honorable time. We honor the veterans who have come home in coffins and also the veterans who are alive, but who would have given their lives to protect us. I have several relatives who served in the military who died. I just wish I had the chance to extend my hand to tell them how grateful I am for what they sacrificed for us. Veterans Day is a opportunity to honor what the gentlemen and ladies who served their country have done for us all,” Ochs said.