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Veterans Day Essay Winner

To help celebrate Veterans Day, 4th and 5th graders from Bowling Green and Warren County schools were asked the question, “Why is it important for American’s to support Veterans?” Many entries were received, but our winner was:

Gray Walden
5th Grade
Mrs. Lehman (teacher)
WR McNeill (school)

Gray received recognition at our flag raising ceremony after the 2017 Veterans Day Parade and was awarded $100 from the American Legion and VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary. Please read Gray’s essay below.

Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Reserves… Six words that give people a reason to support, honor and remember Veteran’s. Boys and girls who love their county join a branch of service at a young age. Several of these boy and girls, turn into men and women while serving the land they love. Some give their entire life serving. We should support our Veterans because of the sacrifice they have made. Veterans have unselfishly fought for our freedoms we have today. As the saying goes, “Freedom is not free.”

This is why when we see a Veteran, we should always stop, shake their hand and say “thank you” or say, “I appreciate your service.” This is a way to support Veteran’s, letting them know you care about what they did. Not just on Veteran’s Day but every day.

Another way to support a Veteran is to always stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, with your hand over your heart. When you are at an event where the Star Spangled Banner is sung, you should stand and place your hand over your hear too. Both of these ways will show support for Veterans.

Another way to show support celebrating Veteran’s with friends and family. At my church home, the Sunday before Veteran’s Day, we have a Veteran’s Day service. A lady will stand before the congregation and read the names of family members from our church who have served and who are still serving. At the end of reading each name, their branch of service and how long they were in service, she will bring out the “Bell of Honors.” She will ring the bell the same amount of times as the names she read. I love hearing the sound of this bell. This bell is for the ones who sacrificed their life. The sound echoes in my church. It is a powerful sound, it reminds me how strong these Veterans are. After that, our preacher will ask if there are any Veterans in our congregation. If they are he wants them to stand and be recognized. Everyone claps so loud and proud for these men and women. Some of the men and women who stand up are very emotional.

Last but not least, in your community, great ways to support Veterans would be to donate to programs that have been made to support Veterans. Help keep the programs going. People should try to learn about all the programs that are offered to Veterans. As a child, ways to support Veterans would be to deliver meals to Veterans who are shut in. Visit with Veterans you know, sit down and listen to stories they have to tell about being in the service. Give them your time since they gave you theirs by keeping you safe. Maybe even help them with chores around their house too. There are so many ways to support Veterans. I think the best way and number one way to support a Veteran is to simply say “Thank You!”

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