More than 100 fifth-graders from Brownstown Elementary School attended the annual Veterans Day ceremony Friday at the Jackson County Courthouse.
The number of students attending far outnumbered the two dozen or so veterans on hand for the event, which is OK with at least one of those veterans.
That’s because Steve Glasgow, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1970, attends the service every year and keeps the handmade cards the students make for veterans. That means he receives cards from several of the students and a chance to talk to each one of them.
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During a reunion of Vietnam vets this summer, he took some of the cards he’s saved and showed them to his fellow veterans.
“… and they were delighted,” Glasgow said. “They were so appreciative.”
Glasgow, who spent his last year of service in Vietnam, said Friday’s service, held the day before Veterans Day to allow the students to participate, was special to him for another reason.
“I want to honor the World War II vets because there are so few of them,” he said. “They saved our country and the world.”
Pastor Michael Hogg with the Brownstown Church of Christ was the guest speaker.
“Today, we are pressured to forget the historical lessons of war or at least to make it more politically acceptable,” Hogg said.
He said he wanted to impress upon the students the special debt of gratitude owed to the men and women in the U.S. Armed Force over the years especially those who served in Vietnam.
“… because they’ve not been fully appreciated,” Hogg said.
Fifth-grader Brynn Burton, 10, said one of the most important things that she learn in the days leading up to the Veterans Day ceremony is that 50 to 80 million people have served in the military over the years.
Burton said she liked Hogg’s speech and learned a lot from it.
“My grandpa’s dad was in the military,” she said.
Fellow fifth-grader Claire Elliott, 11, of Brownstown said her favorite part of attending the ceremony was getting to see all the veterans who have served the America.
The day was extra special for her as well because her uncle is presently serving.
“He’s in the Army,” she said.
Fifth-grader Bella Brown said she learned a lot of soldiers died just for us to have a free country.
The 11-year-old Norman girl said her great-grandfather, Vernon Haws, was a veteran of the U.S Navy.
Glasgow said he won’t miss a Veterans Day service as long as he can get there.
Matt Roberts of Brownstown, a veteran of the U.S. Army, said like Glasgow, agreed and said he tries to attend the Veterans Day service each year.
‘It’s nice to remember the veterans,” he said. “The ones that are still around, we don’t think we did that much, but the ones who have paid the price.”
Burton, who served in Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the Global War on Terrorism, said it’s important for today’s youth to attend the service.
“I think it’s wonderful,” he said. “Nowadays they are starting to take this stuff out of our history books. They’re not going to get what they get here.”