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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Van Buren students pay tribute to veterans

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Memorial Day is for those that are gone, Veterans Day honors those who are still here," Retired Col. Dave Shorter told students at Van Buren Elementary.

Shorter talked to the crowd about what it is like to be a veteran Monday morning.

"Most veterans will have to think about it, because while they served their country they only thought about protecting their families and the people in the United States," he said. "Veterans have and will continue to work."

Lt. Col. Deedra Thombleson talked to the crowd about the life of the Military Police.

"It is hard leaving your family," she said. "But my children understand, we (my husband and I) explain to them why we do these things, we only hope that one day they won't have to."

Thombleson also talked about another historic election that took place.

"The United States just elected the first African-American President, and I was there in 2005 when the people in Iraq were able to vote for the first time in 30 years," she said. "That was an amazing sight to see."

Students have been preparing by working on patriotic pictures in art, practicing the National Anthem, and an art project for the hallway or gym.

"This was an educational and memorable experience for the children," Van Buren Elementary teacher Derik Tipton told The Brazil Times. "Many veterans were present to be honored for their service to our country."

There was a total of 55 veterans plus their guests in attendance including:

* 33 Army,

* four Navy,

* one Coast Guard,

* six Marines, and

* 11 Air Force

"This was probably our largest turnout, and the teachers have worked so hard," Van Buren Elementary School Principal Gail Williams told The Brazil Times.

"The kids have learned so much and it was a great experience."

Patrons watched a very moving video with students from Van Buren holding signs thanking veterans for their dedication it was played to the song "Rugged Old Flag" by Johnny Cash, at the end of the video the audience was noticeably moved and gave a standing ovation.

"I would personally like to thank Col. Shorter as well as the veterans that spoke to our classes," Tipton said. "John R. Pell, Jeff Short, Joe Thomas, Les Webster, Rod McAfoos and Stoney Stitzel. They all took the time out of their day to come here and talk to the students and educate them, and we really appreciate that."



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