Community members of all ages had the opportunity to participate in Veterans Day activities around Fort Scott Wednesday, as local organizations, schools and other venues hosted events to honor those who have served in the military.
The Fort Scott National Cemetery invited members of the community to attend a service which featured Cmdr. Matthew Jones, retired, of the United States Coast Guard, taps played by Jerry Witt, an honor volley by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1165 Honor Guard and music from the Fort Scott Community College band.
Jones said veterans are often men and women who serve others before themselves, and reminded retired veterans that they still have much to offer their community, including wisdom they have gained through their experiences.
Jones also reminded his audience that Veterans Day is a time “to honor those gone before and take time to listen to those we still have.”
Second graders at Winfield Scott Elementary School sang patriotic melodies for their family members and veterans in attendance at their program Wednesday morning. Certain children also read lines expressing their gratitude to those veterans.
“We want you to know that we appreciate all the veterans of the United States of America,” Principal Marianna Daugherty said.
The event at that school ended with a slideshow of photos portraying the students’ and teachers’ relatives who have served or are currently serving in the military, whether it was the students’ great, great grandparents or the teachers’ children.
Students at St. Mary’s Catholic School also sang patriotic songs during their service Wednesday afternoon, presenting gifts to the veterans in attendance.
The program at the Fort Scott Middle School included an array of fake poppies in honor of the poem, In Flanders Fields. The FSMS Concert Band and Select Ensemble provided music while eighth grade students read quotations from historical figures and even unknown authors, expressing gratitude and respect to veterans.
“We can’t say enough to say thanks,” Principal Jim Howard said to veterans who attended the program. “This day is for you.”
“Today we honor our veterans who have served and died,” speaker Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Black said, saying his question now is who from the next generation will step up and carry on that legacy.