Veteran’s Day at Sevier

Lucy Addair, Staff Writer

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On November 9th, 2017, students and faculty gathered in the gym to honor those who have in the past or are currently serving in the armed forces.

First, everyone gathered in the gym as a slideshow reflected on a television. Then, the Dobyns-Bennett color guard demonstrated a routine and presented the flag to honor veterans.

Soon after, Kingsport mayor John Clark gave a speech to students about the importance of veterans and how they should be honored. Then, the chorus sang two patriotic songs in honor of the visiting veterans.

Finally, the event closed with four of the school’s teachers singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” as everyone stood silent in respect for deceased veterans.

After the event, visiting veterans were invited to the school gymnasium for food and drink.

The host of the event, Zohnta Bell, an eighth grade student, feels strongly about Veterans Day and looks at the program as a way to express his school spirit.

“It was a great feeling because I got to meet the mayor and all of the veterans,” Bell said.

He believes that people should honor veterans, and if he himself met one in public, he would say “thank you for your service”.

The one who organized this important program was the school’s Family Liaison, Debbie Moore.

“I wanted to be part of the program to help our students recognize the impact the military has had on not just me but many of our Sevier families,” she said.

Zohnta Bell, the host, was chosen by her, as well. He was one of the many students who made her feel welcome, as this was her first year at Sevier. When they talked about Veterans Day and the program, he volunteered to assist her.

“I loved how Zohnta handled a few mishaps,” she said. “There was a malfunction with the audio.”

Moore hopes the event helped students realize the importance of veterans.

“I hope the next time they see a veteran, they shake his or her hand and say ‘thank you’,” she said.

Moore was also interested in helping plan the event, as she herself has a son who was in the military.

“Veterans Day is a special day for me,” she said. “Having a son in the military has given me a little more insight to a soldier’s life. They give up all family holidays, experience things we cannot image and put their lives at risk. They do all this to serve our country and keep us safe.”

Fred Himelwright is a veteran who participated in the program. He was drafted for the Korean War and spent 15 months in Korea. He went to the same basic training camp as Elvis Presley.

“Most feel they were not heroes, but were part of a team along with 20 other countries and united nations to keep one country from attacking the people of another country,” he said.

Himelwright had a favorite part of the program.

“The appreciation of the students and the expression of the students and the school and staff made it happen,” he said. “If you have ever been to an event and have tears in your eyes being appreciated and thanked for service, it’s great.”

As a veteran, Himelwright hopes the new generation will not have to experience war.

“We don’t want to go to war and we don’t want any of our children to go to war,” Himelwright said. “We advocate for the JROTC and our children to be physically ready, but we do not want our children to experience war.”

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