Kids and vets

Schools come through again in saluting our military veterans
Nov. 16, 2012 @ 03:36 PM

Once again the children of Sevier County showed their colors and pride in America with spectacular and entertaining salutes to veterans.

Seymour and Sevier County high schools staged elaborate and colorful shows for the public, with veterans especially invited. Other schools, including Northview, had similar programs. At each one, many of the hundreds — thousands, actually — of military veterans in this county attended and were shown the proper appreciation and respect they so richly earned.

There are some 14,000 children attending public schools in Sevier County. Each one takes classes in history. But that’s just book learning. To have veterans attend and watch the students perform or speak to classes makes history come alive and ensures that this generation of kids and the future generations never forget the sacrifice made by so many people in uniform. They served from the time of the Revolutionary War that established our independence to the tragic Civil War to two world wars, Vietnam, Korea, Desert Storm and, in more recent times, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans are, for the most part, humble about their time in uniform, especially those who served in World War II — the greatest generation by acclamation. But everyone likes to feel appreciated. Even if so many veterans dislike talking about their experiences, they at least enjoy the attention they get through Veterans Day programs, particularly those in the schools.

To see an 80-year-old or 90-year-old man clutching the hand of a pre-teen and talking about experiences in uniform is heartwarming and gratifying. It shows that children are being taught what happened before their birth and how significant it was to their own freedoms.

Thanks, kids and teachers, for ensuring that miltary history continues to be a major part of the history classes taught in our schools.

The politics and divisiveness of such conflicts are important as well, but not nearly as much as making sure kids today know the heroism and dedication of the generations before them, who fought the wars, who were injured and died for their country.