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PHOTOS: BCSD schools celebrate Veterans Day

Published on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020

HBE students listen to a service member speaking on a Smartboard

Provided photo / Students in a classroom at H.E. Bonner Elementary listen to a service member speaking on a Smartboard (virtually) on Veterans Day.

In the past, BCSD schools have celebrated Veterans Day with parades, guest speakers and special breakfasts or lunches with visiting veterans and active service members.

With the pandemic, schools were limited with what they could do this year – but on Nov. 11, schools found ways to thank those who have served, or are continuing to serve, the country. Click through the photo gallery to view how schools celebrated Veterans Day.

Schools did a lot of virtual activities, or got crafty with video presentations or photo displays to show their support.

Philip Simmons High held a ceremony in the school’s auditorium – an extra bonus was this being the first year that the school has a JRTOC program, and the cadets led the event.

PSH cadets lead the presentation of colors

Provided photo / PSH cadets in the JROTC program lead the Presentation of Colors.

Cadet William Allen (Squadron Commander) and Carmelo Brunson (First Sergeant) served as the Masters of Ceremonies. The Iron Horse Band and AFJROTC Cadet Color Guard led the National Anthem. The school recognized faculty and staff’s military family members with a slideshow presentation, and heard from Brigadier General (retired) Wayne Wright, a long-term substitute teacher for Philip Simmons High.

Wright spent a total of 34 years in service and received his Air Force commission in 1981 after graduating from the University of South Carolina. He transitioned from active duty to the Georgia Air National Guard in 1992, and has held multiple staff and command positions at the squadron, wing and headquarters level. He served as acting Adjutant General of Virginia from June 11 to July 14, 2010, and also served as the Virginia Air National Guard Chief of Staff prior to becoming Director of the Joint Staff.

The ceremony was also a way to introduce the school’s new JRTOC staff; the program at PSH is led by Lt. Col. (Ret) Christopher Ott, who is the senior aerospace science instructor, and CMSgt (Ret.) Michelle Siau, the aerospace science instructor.

At Cane Bay High, social studies teacher Kimberly Terre asked teachers, faculty and staff to submit family photos of those who have served, and she organized the photos on a table in the main hall of the school. Terre included labels for the photos explaining who the pictured family member is, and who they are related to in the school.

assembled photos of CBH military family members on display at the school  Missing Man table on display at CBH

Provided photos from Cane Bay High

Next to the photo display, Terre also created a Missing Man table. This is a memorial set up in honor of fallen, missing or imprisoned military service members. There are multiple symbolic elements involved in the display, including an inverted glass to represent the fact that the missing and fallen cannot be with their family, a white tablecloth representing the service member’s pure intentions to respond to the country’s call to arms, a red ribbon representing patriotism and a single red rose in a vase representing the loved one’s sacrifice for the freedom of the United States of America, among several other elements.

Terre said she noticed several students taking the time to check out the display, and she received a lot of support from teachers who appreciated the gesture.

Cane Bay High’s Student Council and JROTC students created two videos to honor Veterans Day as well.

In the past, Marrington Elementary usually hosts a parade at the school. This year, teachers sent a link inviting blended distance learning (BDL) students and their parents (and family members who are veterans) to join the celebration virtually. Media specialist Ann Schuler, Principal Jennifer Theilmann led the students in singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “The Veterans Day Song,” which was written by former Marrington teacher, Glenda Ward.

Veterans Day is a special occasion at Marrington Elementary and Marrington Middle School of the Arts, as they are located on Joint Base Charleston/Naval Weapons Station, and the student population is made up predominantly of children of active duty service members.

student in front of a board that read "we [heart] our veterans!" at MRE

Provided photo from MRE