Veterans Day Sees Series of Programs

Local veterans gather for a photo in the entrance hall at Winnfield Primary School at the conclusion of their Veterans Day Parade through the school on November 10.

Veterans Day allowed young Winn students the opportunity to interact with men and women who served this country through the military.  Friday, Nov. 10, saw three salutes to veterans, beginning with a breakfast at Winnfield Middle School, moving on to a veterans parade through Winnfield Primary School and ending up for lunch sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office at the Huey P. Long Campus, Central Louisiana Technical Community College.  Dodson High School also got a preview when U.S. Navy veteran Charles Carroll spoke to students in 4th through 8th grade classes on “The Importance of Veterans Day,” a presentation that was appreciated.

Winnfield Middle School hosted a breakfast to honor the Veterans in our community on Friday, Nov. 10.  As the special guests arrived, they were greeted by 8th grade students with a warm welcome and a parade of flags. The honored guests were served a delicious breakfast made by the WMS lunchroom staff.

Before breakfast was served, 8th grade student Joseph Bourgoyne said a prayer and Brendan Green, Ja’seona Sapp, and Zai’riel Walker led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Braylen Vines then welcomed everyone. During the meal students Courley Baker, Kamdyn Howell, Natalee Vines, Joseph Bourgoyne, and Riley Armstrong read about the history of Veterans Day. The program was closed out by 8th grader Annaleigh Frederick reading a poem she wrote.

Each honored guest was given a copy of the poem written by Annaleigh. Winnfield Middle School also honored their own Veterans; Ms. Ericka Breda, Mrs. De’jwana Jones, and Ms. Venus Moss. WMS thanked everyone that was able to attend, it was an honor to have you join us!  (WMS writeup courtesy Mandi Wolfe)

Winnfield Primary School’s annual Veterans’ Day Parade was a successful event. The weather changed plans at the school, but there was a positive outcome.  Being indoors allowed the veterans to see the young students face-to-face, and joy and cheers filled the hallways.

After gathering in the auditorium, the veterans began their parade at 9 a.m., walking the length of the ground floor hall, then climbing the stairs to the second floor and retuning the length of that hall.   All along the way, smiling and waving children beside their classrooms on both side greeted the visitors.  The veterans then gathered for a group photo in the school’s entrance hall.

“We were so pleased to welcome in and celebrate the wonderful group of men and women that have served our country.”  The Grand Marshal for the parade was Helen Leonard. Mrs. Leonard was in the Army for 5 years and served in Desert Storm. She has worked at W.P.S. for the past 18 years. “We are proud to have her as part of our team.”

Winnfield Primary School is already looking forward to having this parade again next year. (WPS story courtesy Hannah H. Austin)

Huey P. Long Campus CLTCC was the setting of the 8th annual Veterans Luncheon sponsored by the Winn Parish Sheriff’s office.  More than 120 filled the dining room, with 84 of those being veterans.  “It’s a recognition you deserve,” said Sheriff Cranford Jordan in welcoming remarks.
Rev. Joel Hines in the opening prayer noted that “Freedom carries a high price.  They (veterans) did it for our country and for our future generations.”  He observed that veterans serve as examples to the nation today.

Guest speaker Col. Houston Polson USAF (Ret) told the crowd that the veterans have pledged their allegiance to the U.S. Constitution. “Embodied in that is the essence of American freedom.”  He suggested that the sacrifices made by veterans allow those of this generation to follow their dreams, which could be to study art, law, music, commerce or other pursuits. Two concepts that are eroding, the opined, are “Responsibility” and “Accountability.”  He noted, “How can we rebuild these two words in the younger generation?  Follow the concept of If you make a mistake, you make it right.”

The luncheon, a good meal enjoyed by all, was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and playing of the National Anthem and closed with an inspiring version of “God Bless America.”