GES celebrates Veterans Day in song


By Dawn Hatfield

GREENVILLE — Friday, Nov. 11 offered students at Greenville Elementary School a meaningful lesson outside their individual classrooms. Students filed into the elementary gymnasium wearing various arrays of red, white, and blue as the school’s annual Veterans Day assembly was about to begin.

Assistant Principal Jessica Gorman welcomed the students and spoke about the importance of service members and their contribution to our freedom. She explained veterans may pay “the ultimate sacrifice” to keep citizens safe. “When you see a veteran—often they will be wearing a hat that shows their service—be sure to thank them,” Gorman encouraged students.

The gymnasium then fell silent as Aleiha Fenton of the Greenville High School Wavaires began a solo rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the country’s official national anthem since 1931. A roaring applause filled the stands as Fenton sang out the final verse, “… O’re the land of the freeeeeee and the home of the brave?”

The entire Wavaires ensemble followed with an Armed Forces tribute showcasing both the flags and songs of each of our country’s five traditional military branches: “The Army Goes Rolling Along” (Army); “Semper Paratus” (Coast Guard); “The Marines’ Hymn” (Marines); “Off We Go into the Wild Blue Yonder” (Air Force); and “Anchors Aweigh” (Navy).

As the Wavaires exited, Gorman called three special guests to the center of the gym floor. Second graders Jake Gruber, Makenzi Mahan, and Lawrence Short recited a special poem in honor of Veterans Day.

To end, the Greenville Middle School Choir, led by Kari Thompson, sang “America, Of Thee I Sing!” setting the Pledge of Allegiance to moving music. The assembly closed with the choir’s grand finale, “A Patriotic Salute” by Linda Spevacek, which is described on as an “ingenious collage saluting the U.S. Armed Forces featur[ing] a collection of timeless tunes, reminding us of the debt we owe our men and women in uniform.”

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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