OUS honors veterans with program by students

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015

Veterans Day is a day set aside to honor the men and women of America who wrote a blank check to their country — good up to their lives.

Oxford University School held a special ceremony Wednesday to honor veterans in the Oxford community and surrounding area.

“The children love being able to participate,” Assistant Head of School Sarah Hopkins said.

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Oxford University School invited all local veterans to attend the Veterans Day breakfast and assembly. The administration, faculty and students honored veterans with a light breakfast followed by a moment of silence and a patriotic ceremony with the help of students and community veterans.

This is the eighth year Oxford University School has presented the program. The school had around 80 students partake in the ceremony.

“It is interesting to listen to the students’ discussions leading up to the event as they start to truly understand what patriotism means and how the men and women of our armed forces give themselves selflessly for our freedoms,” Hopkins said.

“It’s almost like a legacy,” Cassie Bonner Jr. said.

Bonner said the students’ participation in honoring military service members teaches children what it means to be a good American citizen. His own son, Cassie Bonner III, was in the production.

Hopkins said she found an outline for the ceremony from The Department of Veterans Affairs website. After she sat down with 1st Sgt. David Leach from Oxford High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC, they put different components of the program together.

“I tried to fill in with songs and readings so that all of the students had a part to play in the event,” Hopkins said. “I noticed there was a great mixture of formal speeches and songs for the children to participate in.”

The school was able to reach veterans through mailed invitations and area recruiting offices as well as the university ROTC units and other resources. Some students and faculty also sent letters to family and friends who were, or had previously been, in the service.

“Many of today’s children do not really understand what being in the armed forces really means or why we even celebrate Veterans Day,” Hopkins said. “Our veterans are the people that have fought to protect our freedoms. Having these freedoms are what makes our country so great. It is important for our students to understand the sacrifices made for the greater good.”