Local veterans and students commemorate Veterans Day at Cloudland High School
Published 12:37 pm Friday, November 10, 2023
BY ROBERT SORRELL
Local veterans and students gathered at Cloudland High School in Roan Mountain on Friday in honor of Veterans Day.
David Batchelder, director of Carter County Veterans Services, led the program in the school gymnasium.
“I encourage you to thank a veteran,” Batchelder told the students.
The veteran urged students to meet with veterans and talk to them about their stories.
Early on in the program, Batchelder asked veterans from various conflicts to stand and be recognized by the crowd. He called upon soldiers who served in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan to stand.
Batchelder said it was unfortunate no one from earlier wars, including World War II or the Korean conflict, were present.
Veteran Tom Fenner with the American Legion Post 49 led the somber missing man table ceremony, which is conducted to recognize prisoners of war and those missing in action. Several items, including a white tablecloth, an inverted glass and salt, serve as a reminder of those soldiers.
Major Greg Tester, who later shared his thoughts on veterans and service to the country, participated in the missing man table ceremony by pointing out the items.
Veterans Day, which is held every year on Nov. 11, stems from the original Armistice Day, according to Tester. Armistice Day commemorates the end of World War I in 1918.
Without veterans, Tester said many Americans might speak Russian, German or Japanese rather than English.
Not all veterans have served in combat but all have dedicated their lives to serve the country, Tester said.
The Cloudland High School Band performed the national anthem and Cloudland teacher Lauren Turbyfill sang “God Bless America.”