As the tantalizing aroma of bacon and sausage frying in the basement made its way upstairs, eight local military veterans were escorted by students to a classroom at Southport Central School for the annual Veterans Day breakfast and student presentations on Friday, Nov. 8.
The students, about 30, were dressed in red, white and blue outfits and listened as SCS Principal Lisa Clarke welcomed and thanked the veterans for their service to our country. The older students began the presentations by reading and explaining the meaning of the words of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which were written on handmade displays. After the entire gathering sang the national anthem and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, the students read quotes about veterans and Veterans Day, and sang a medley of songs representing each branch of the military, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
Meredith Fowlie, guidance/cultural studies teacher, who led the students in their reciting and singing presentations, then introduced the event’s guest speaker, her father, Alfred Roberts.
Roberts began his talk explaining that Veterans Day means a lot to him because his brother was killed in World War II. He then asked the attending veterans to stand when he told the students about the five branches of the military. In attendance were Marlyn “Gus” Schopper, Rob Cronk, Arthur Richardson, Tim Hanley, Ed Harmon, Russell Jackson, Glenn Scott and 94-year-old Korean War veteran Bob Eaton.
While his daughter showed slides, Roberts explained the various memorials seen on a recent Honor Flight Maine trip to Washington, D.C. Richardson went on the recent trip and Eaton went on the trip last year. Roberts talked about the number of casualties in the various wars, and some history behind Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier.
“The ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is held 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” he told the students.
Two of the final slides expressed the meaning behind Veterans Day well: “We don’t know them all, but we owe them all,” and “We are the land of the free because of the brave. Thank you for your service.”
As the students helped serve breakfast to the guests, veteran Glenn Scott said he enjoyed the presentation, and said “It’s a great little school. We’re lucky to have it.”