High schools to host Veterans Day programs in honor of service to country

As time passes after a war, its details tend to blur. Veterans Service Officer David Batchelder hopes the sacrifices the soldiers made do not fade along with them.

Batchelder said they have been doing the program since the day he took the position.

“We have been doing it for at least 20 years,” he said.

He said the program’s purpose is about recognizing and honoring veterans and the sacrifices they have made during their service.

Additionally, the program is meant to teach high schoolers the meaning behind these sacrifices and about how their freedoms are fought for, so Batchelder said they rotate between high schools every year to host the program.

“It gives the people in school the appreciation for their sacrifices,” Batchelder said. “It teaches them to not take their freedoms for granted, to remember who helped them keep their freedoms.”

The program rarely exceeds an hour long, Batchelder said, and features a Flag Folding ceremony, a recognition of veterans and guests and a “Missing Man” table.

He said this table with an empty, covered chair represents the numerous soldiers either MIA (missing in action) or POWs (prisoners of war).

Batchelder said the program has changed over the years. For example, the Flag Folding ceremony replaced a “Recognition of Different Conflicts,” a ceremony meant to demonstrate the various military conflicts throughout American history, including both world wars and the American Revolution. He said the ceremony did not resonate with the students and they were not getting much out of it, so they changed it to the similar Flag Folding instead.

Batchelder said this program is important, “now more than ever” as politics heat up.

“We still are one country,” he said. “We need to put aside our differences, and recognize those who gave us the right to disagree.”

He said veterans who have participated in past programs feel privileged helping to educate others about what they have gone through and sacrificed.

Veterans themselves are not the only focus, however. Batchelder said the family members of veterans are also deserving of recognition.

“I deal with a lot of surviving spouses,” he said. “It is very rewarding to work with them through their struggles.”

Batchelder said they encourage everyone to attend if they can.

“We have a lot of older veterans who cannot get out,” he said. “Everyone who knows a veteran should go out and shake their hand, tell them they appreciate them,” Batchelder said. “It means a lot to them, especially if it is coming from the younger generation.”

The program itself will take place at Cloudland High School on Friday, Nov. 9, at 10 a.m. and at Elizabethton High School on Monday, Nov. 12, at 9:30 a.m. Cloudland’s program will host a reception following the program.

Local news

Local judge, kindergarten teacher, and realtor compete for Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars

Local news

Elizabethton Police seek public’s help in theft investigation

Local news

Lakeside Concert Series lineup announced

Local news

Roan Mountain State Park weekend activities

Local news

ETSU, Walters State offer transfer pathway for computing students

Local news

Roan Mountain Summer Concert series features area musicians

Local news

Watauga Genealogists will  meet June 4 at JC Library

Local news

TWRA Memorial Day weekend boating report

Local news

UETHDA announces energy assistance outreach for June

Local news

SAHC announces new South Yellow Mountain Preserve

Community

Isaac Whitehead Family plans reunion June 2

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested for aggravated assault at local hotel

Local news

Tennessee to offer free diapers through Medicaid, CoverKids

Local news

Decoration Day planned for June 8 at Lyons Cemetery

Local news

Shell Family Reunion planned Saturday

Local news

Memorial Day ceremony honors Carter Countians killed in military conflicts

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested for second-degree murder in stabbing incident

Local news

Memorial Day weekend sees slight drop in Tennessee gas prices despite high travel volume

Local news

Northeast Community Credit Union selects 2024 William L. Armstrong Scholarship recipients

Local news

Elizabethton student receives prestigious Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship

Local news

RM resident graduates from Maryville College

Calendar

Community Calendar

Local news

Farmers Market opens June 4 with new items, old favorites

Local news

A Life Lived: Wayne Peters was  a humble man and kind person