Local VETERANS DAY: Good Hope students lead school’s program | The Cullman Tribune


VETERANS DAY: Good Hope students lead school’s program

GOOD HOPE - Good Hope High School held its annual Veterans Day ceremony Thursday afternoon and the outside of the gym was covered in patriotic poems written by some of Good Hope’s students. In the gym lobby, there were even more poems and messages to veterans from the students that set the mood for the celebration.

The program was lead entirely by the students and featured ceremonial presentations like the Pledge of Allegiance and the presentation of the colors and some educational ones like an explanation of the history of Veterans Day and the history of the armed forces anthems.

Good Hope Principal John Hood said he is proud to honor local veterans with the program and thinks it’s important for the students to be responsible for running it.

“Anything we can do to recognize our veterans is important because they’ve done so much for us and we can never do anything to repay them and honor them enough,” Hood said.  “It’s also very important to have the students involved in it because the leadership that they gain from this is something that they can carry on with them forever. So, getting them involved in this and letting them be a part of this so that they can gain respect for the veterans is something they can have forever. This is the first year that students have been the primary leaders of the program, so I’ve been excited about that part of it, and we’re trying to work toward everything being student-led. Anything we can do to have the students be the main people to lead our assemblies, we do that.”

The Good Hope Raider Band was also a big part of the day’s events, providing several pieces of music for the ceremony. They got things started by performing the national anthem, then performed “America the Beautiful” and the armed forces anthem medley, “Armed Forces on Parade.” “Taps” was performed by band member Makala Cone.

The keynote speaker for this year’s program was U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Tyson Smith, who talked about the sacrifices that have been made to make the United States what it is.

“I always like to bring up Memorial Day on this special day as well to further remind us of the sacrifices that have been made for us. Both holidays represent men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country and the freedoms that we enjoy today. Veterans Day is extremely important to us because us veterans get to celebrate with our brothers and sisters as one, whether they be humanitarian or in combat.”

Smith went on to talk about the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States today thanks to the sacrifices of our armed forces.

“As a combat veteran, after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can tell you that there is truly no place like the United States of America. When I speak to you about some of the freedoms that we have and some of the things I’ve seen overseas, I’m thankful that I can come here and speak my mind freely, practice my religion and express my emotions, thoughts and ideas peacefully without serious consequences,” shared Smith. “All of that is thanks to the veterans that you see here today, who fought in conflicts like Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan. So, as we celebrate today, let us remember that freedom isn’t free, and it does demand a price. It’s individuals like our local veterans who have paid that price and it’s up to us to carry on that torch and represent the United States both here and abroad.”

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