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Local veterans earn a special salute

Fifth-grade students at West Side Elementary recently took time out to recognize local veterans during a special Photo by Brandon Hicksceremony at the school.
Students and school staff provided veterans with a meal to thank them for their service. As the veterans enjoyed their lunch, students entertained the visitors with songs, poetry recitals and other performances.
Fifth-grade teacher Amanda Righter said the ceremony was the final project in a social studies lesson the students had been working on.
“It went along with a social studies lesson on honoring veterans,” Righter said. “Some things are better to be taught hands-on.”
Righter said students worked to prepare for the ceremony for the past month. The students decorated the cafeteria in red, white and blue. Some students also wrote their own personal songs for the ceremony.
Students invited family members and friends to take part in the celebration.
“This is really nice,” said Vietnam veteran Glen McQueen. “The kids have worked so hard. It is an honor to be here.”
The entire fifth-grade class kicked off the ceremony by singing “American Soldier.” After that, groups of students presented the songs or poems they had written for the veterans.
That included Alex Cruz and Nikki Nave, who wrote and sang a song about the Revolutionary War. Abby Harrison and Audrey Holland sang a song about the Civil War, and Caleb Batchelder and Daniel Bowers gave a speech about the Spanish-American War.