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SHMS Honors Local Veterans
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Monday, November 17, 2014
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South Habersham Middle School Honors Veterans with Heartfelt Ceremony

American Flags, letters, poems, and drawings in red, white, and blue adorned the halls of South Habersham Middle School on Monday, November 10, 2014 as the school community joined together to honor local veterans’ service to our country.  Veterans were warmly welcomed to the school’s annual student-led event, which took place in the SHMS gym.  They were escorted into the ceremony by students Nolberto Chastain, Colby Jones, Tarin Westbrook, and Mann King as the band played a rousing rendition of “American Fantasy.”  The Habersham Central High School ROTC Color Guard presented the national Colors followed by the chorus and band performing “The Star Spangled Banner.”  The Pledge to the Flag was led by Mya Sedwick and signed by Jaque Ramirez and Alexis Canup. 

After the opening events, students Jonah Free and Rachel Smith extended a warm welcome to the program.  Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students wearing red, white, and blue lined the stands.  The chorus beautifully performed “Song for the Unsung Hero” leading into the reading of students’ letters, poems, and essays for our veterans.  Eighth grade students Nevaja Brown and Nancy Mora shared the letters they had written expressing gratitude for the many sacrifices our Veterans have made.  Seventh grade students Erika Phapakdy and Grace Ward presented their Veterans Day poems.  Sixth grade students Avery Smith and Ellis Wallace read their essays and both described veterans as heroes.  A common theme among all of the writings was the importance of honoring those who sacrifice for our freedom and truly appreciating these sacrifices.

Jonah Free presented the recognition of Vietnam veterans followed by the band’s performance of “March of the Armed Forces”.  Breckyn Kennedy and Lauren Nelson began our tribute section with an introduction of the importance our students place on not only learning about the history of our nation, but also understanding it to the fullest.  Their introduction segued into a video of a compilation of SHMS students expressing their definition of a soldier, why they are grateful for their service, and personalized "thank yous" to our veterans.  Following the video, Nelson sang "This Little Light of Mine" signifying that while one light may not seem like much, it's contribution to the bigger goal can make a colossal impact on the world around them.  As Nelson sang, the student body began raising their glow sticks, forming a red, white, and blue pattern that encircled the veterans.  The glow sticks were a student body tribute to our veterans, signifying the impact that individuals can make when joining together.  The theme "Thank you for being our light of freedom in a world of darkness" is based on the hope each soldier has brought not only to our country, but also to our world.  Concluding the ceremony was a moment of silence followed by TAPS performed by Alejandro Flores and Zach Buckindail. 

On their way to the reception in the Media Center, each veteran was given a handwritten and illustrated card from a student with the theme written on it attached to a glow stick as a commemorative token of our thanks.  Veterans and their families were served a brunch catered by The Food Factory in Cornelia.  SHMS would like to thank The Torch Staff, Jaemor Farms, and the SHMS faculty and staff for their contributions.  South Habersham Middle School was very honored to thank our veterans for serving our country!


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