Saint James Catholic School (SJS) hosted its annual Veterans Day Celebration event Friday morning, providing students with an opportunity to learn about and honor military veterans.
The event included a keynote address from Col. Rick Frank, Commandant at the U.S. Army Recruiting and Retention College. Lt. Col. Annie Rudick, Chief of the Enlisted Health Services Branch of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, served as master of ceremonies.
“Saint James students – you are the future of your country. I challenge you to make this country better than it is because we need you all to do your part. I challenge you to do something bigger than yourself and to serve this country whether in the military or in your communities,” said Col. Frank.
The event, which drew approximately nearly 150 attendees, also included a variety of military and patriotic tributes. These included a Presentation of Colors from the Human Resource Command Color Guard, a Quilt of Valor presentation from local Quilts of Valor representative Marcella Goodin, a presentation of Veterans Day facts from SJS third grade social studies students, a personal writing piece by eighth grade student Abigail Workman and an audio and video tribute presentation to military families.
Musical tributes were also performed, including a performance of the National Anthem by SJS seventh grade student Madeline Holwager; a rendition of Korean War veteran Owen Barnett’s poem “Heroes Among Us” by sixth grade student Benjamin Moore; a performance of composer/arranger Greg Gilpin’s “Colonel Bogey’s Grand Old Flag” by kindergarten, first and second grade students; a performance of “A Tribute to the Armed Services by fifth grade students and an invitation for all attendees to join in a singalong of “God Bless America.”
During last year’s Veterans Day event, SJS was honored with a Kentucky Purple Star Award, which highlights schools’ commitment and dedication for Kentucky’s military youth and families in their local community.
“At SJS, we are dedicated to instilling a deep respect for and understanding of the importance of honoring our veterans and the military community,” said SJS principal Sister Mary Grace. “We are committed to creating a warm and inclusive environment that embraces military families, recognizing that gratitude for their service is an integral part of our shared values and community spirit.”