Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade music teacher Lynn Varian works with the pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade students on their song and sign language tribute to veterans. -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS
Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade music teacher Lynn Varian works with the pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade students on their song and sign language tribute to veterans. -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

Archived Story

Elementary school honors veterans

Published 11:23am Saturday, November 9, 2013
Meherrin Elementary student Josh Williams reads a poem in honor of Veterans Day. -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News
Meherrin Elementary student Josh Williams reads a poem in honor of Veterans Day. — Cain Madden | Tidewater News

NEWSOMS—When Meherrin Elementary student Cady Tatem, 7, woke up Friday morning, she put on a stars and stripes dress and topped the outfit off with a blue and white bow.

That’s because Meherrin Elementary School students were hosting a program to honor the veterans on staff, in the community and in their families.

“It was a wonderful event,” said Alma Wright, a reading specialist who served in the U.S. Navy for six years. “It lets the veterans know that they are appreciated, and the veterans do appreciate this program. They look forward to it every year.

“I think Veterans Day is the most rewarding, giving day of all. It is giving back to the people who have protected and served us through good and bad times. There is no other person I can think of as deserving of being honored as veterans.”

The students got together in the gym/cafeteria to sing songs, read poetry and pledge allegiance to the flag, all in honor of those who served.

“I thought they were all wonderful,” said Lynn Varian, a pre-k to fifth grade music teacher who worked with the children on the songs. “The children really put all of their hearts into it. They sang beautifully, I’m so proud of them.

“I think veterans and all of the military are critical to our country. I think they deserve more recognition than we could ever give them in one single program, but at least it is a small way to give back and appreciate them.”

Second grader Tyrese Smith, 8, said he enjoyed the program.

“I thought it was cool because of the singing,” he said. “I thought everyone sang good.”

Smith said Veterans Day is important to him.

“It’s a nice day,” he said. “I think it’s really cool that people fight for other people’s freedom.”

Littleton Parker, who is retired from the schools, said that this is a wonderful program, and he gave all the credit to the staff.

“This is put on because of the staff here,” said Parker, who is filling in for Principal Syretha Wright. “When you have a good staff, they do things for people in the community. Mrs. Wright has done an outstanding job with the staff here. It’s a pleasure being here with them.”

Parker said that his father, who is no longer with him, served.

“I don’t think they have enough days. I don’t think one day is enough,” he said. “Without them, we may not be here.”

Toni Hunt, instructional assistant, said this program was wonderful and that it was a pleasure seeing all of the veterans come out for it.

There were representatives on hand from every war going back to WWII, and there were veterans from every branch of service being honored.

“My father was a veteran who has gone on to glory, but I still think about him every day,” Hunt said. “The program is for the children, so that they can remember the struggles that veterans have gone through for them, to make things easier.”

As far as first grader Cady, she said she looks forward to Veterans Day every year because of her mother, Holly Tatem, who served in the U.S. Army for 16 years.

“I’m so proud of her,” Cady said. “I thought the program was good today because it honored my mom. I’m glad to have her here today.”

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