Veterans Day honored at Licking Schools

                                                                                                                                                            Photo by Shari Harris
Veterans honored at the Licking Schools ceremony included, front row, kneeling, from left: SFC Erik Badgett (USA), Don Whitby (USA)(standing), 1Lt Mitchell Harris (USAR), Doyt Lusby (USA), JD Hoffman (USA), Gary Gorman (USAF), and Robert Lyons (USMC). Back row, standing: BMC Billie Krewson (USNR), Jordan Goodwin (USA), Gabriel Bayne (USN), Keith Cantrell (ARNG), Don Young (USMC), CSM Wayne Hackman (USA), Jim Little (USA), Benn Sullins (USA), Richard Myers (USAF), and Tammy Shirley (USN).
By Shari Harris

Licking Schools held their annual Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, Nov. 18, after postponements due to school closings on the 8th, 11th and 12th.
The event began with the posting of colors by the FFA and an opening welcome by Eli Keeney. Mrs. Martin’s second grade class led those assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance and The Cat’s Meow performed the “Star Spangled Banner.” Additional tributes to the veterans were provided by the third grade classes who performed “Yankee Doodle Song” and the LHS Concert Choir who sang “We Are the Voice.”
Licking VFW Post 6337 Commander Billie Krewson presented the POW/MIA table ceremony, with the always emotional explanation of the components of the table. This was followed by the special guests of the event, the veterans, introducing themselves and announcing when and where they served.
After the LHS band performed “Armed Forces Salute,” the guest speaker, SFC Erik Badgett, came to the podium. After regaling the students with tales of his time in the service, Badgett explained the importance of community in allowing those serving in the military to do their jobs. He emphasized how communities take care of the home front, with teaching the children, keeping the basics going (like electricity) and keeping families healthy while their loved one is away.
Badgett’s second point was awareness. He pointed out that in the past 50 minutes, while the assembly had been taking place, a veteran somewhere had committed suicide. He stressed the importance of patience with the service member when they return from deployment.
In summary, Badgett added, “We couldn’t have done any of this without you.” The crowd assembled showed their appreciation with a standing ovation.
Aubri Tillery read her winning essay from the Voices of Democracy competition on freedoms and why America is great. Then Patriots Pen essay winner Finley Sullins read her composition on bravery and sacrifice making America great.
The Licking FFA and Student Council saluted the five branches of the military and the POW/MIAs, then Kermit Lonning played TAPS. Elementary Principal Brad Cooper closed the ceremony, thanking the veterans for attending. The assembly was a great example to the students of the respect and gratitude owed the brave men and women of the military and their families, who have also sacrificed, that we might continue to enjoy the freedoms of our country.



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