On the 11th day of the 11th month, veterans who have served the country are honored.

Veterans Day is an annual holiday marking the anniversary of the end of World War I to honor United States military veterans and victims of all wars.

On Friday, programs are planned around Jackson County and at schools to salute the men and women who have been involved in the military.

The first two that day will be open to the public.

Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center is conducting a program at Seymour’s war memorial at Gaiser Park for the seventh year. It will consist of Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman speaking, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925 honor guard presenting the colors and the school’s choir and band performing. There also will be a wreath presentation.

“We have our 320 students and about 200 from the community. It is a very emotional service,” said Becky Davis, the school’s principal. “Afterwards, our students have the opportunity to thank our veterans who are there and learn about the memorial.”

Crothersville Elementary School’s Veterans Day program will be at 9 a.m. in the cafetorium.

The program will consist of Cub Scouts presenting the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, VFW Post 1083 presenting symbols of the American flag, a performance by the school choir and students reading thank-you letters and poems to veterans. The guest speaker will be Dale Schmelzle, a veteran and member of the Crothersville Community School Corp. school board.

At 9:30 a.m., Seymour-Redding Elementary School invites school families to attend a Veterans Day program.

The community, including veterans and their families, is welcome to attend a program at 10 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour. The keynote speaker is Indiana Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, who served in the U.S. Navy in addition to his career in public service. The hourlong program is led by students and will be followed with a reception for guests.

Four programs are set to begin at 11 a.m.

One is at American Legion Post 89 in Seymour. A Seymour High School choir member will sing the national anthem, the post chaplain will offer an opening prayer and Post Commander Larry Shelly will speak before members of the VFW Post 1925 honor guard fire a 21-gun salute outside. Afterwards, people are invited to eat lunch.

Members of the VFW Post 1925 honor guard also will be a part of the 11 a.m. program at the Jackson County Courthouse in Brownstown.

VFW Post 1083 in Crothersville also will have a program at 11 a.m., including the reading of a poem and a speaker. A free light lunch will follow. That night, between the junior varsity and varsity girls basketball games at the school, the VFW Post 1083 honor guard will present the colors.

Also at 11 a.m., Crothersville High School will host its traditional Veterans Day program in the main gymnasium. The FFA and History Club have combined efforts to sponsor the program, which is open to the public.

St. Ambrose Catholic School in Seymour hosts its Very Important Persons Day on Friday, and that will conclude with a Veterans Day program at 12:45 p.m.

The program will include the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem, a history of Veterans Day, a presidential proclamation, an introduction of veterans present and then guest speaker and veteran Jeremy Helmsing. After he speaks, there will be a moment of silence, taps and prayer before the singing of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

“In the past, we have had a Grandparents Day, but many of the grandparents of our students live out of state or country. Therefore, we now host a VIP Day, and students can invite grandparents or any other adult who is special to them,” said Michelle Neibert-Levine, the school’s principal.

At 1:30 p.m., Brownstown Central High School will have a student convocation in the auditorium. The band and choir will perform, staff members who are veterans will be recognized and the guest speaker is Richard Thayer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. The Hope native and his wife, Mary Lou, have lived in Jackson County since his retirement.

At 2 p.m. Friday, Margaret R. Brown Elementary School in Seymour will host a Veterans Day program. Fifth-graders will perform a variety of patriotic songs and read poems. Veterans in the community planning to attend are asked to call the school office at 812-522-5539 ahead of time.

Seymour Middle School will host its annual Veterans Day program, starting at 2:25 p.m. in Gym 601. Students’ family members who are veterans are invited to attend.

The eighth-grade president will lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the eighth-grade band will play the national anthem before a brief history of Veterans Day will be given.

Students then will read Veterans Day letters and the band will play a song before keynote speaker Tom Powers addresses the student body. Powers grew up in Seymour and later joined the Army and served with the Army Reserve. He worked for the Veterans Administration for 22 years, spending most of that time as chief of veterans assistance at the Louisville regional office. He now lives in Lanesville.

The program will conclude with a salute to the armed forces by the choir, statistics on veterans and taps.

At 3 p.m. Friday, Covered Bridge Health Campus in Seymour will pin 15 of its residents who are veterans. There will be snacks and music, and each veteran will receive a plaque and a poem. The program will be conducted in conjunction with Our Hospice of Southern Indiana.

Also, from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, veterans are invited to VFW Post 1925 for a free meal of fish, fries and coleslaw.

Read the story in Tuesday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.