Music was the order of the day as area school children paid tribute to those who have served in the military with special Veterans Day ceremonies at Eugene Ware Elementary and Fort Scott Middle School on Monday.
An overflow crowd packed Eugene Ware on Monday morning for a musical program that featured such standards as "The Star Spangled Banner," "God Bless the USA," and a rousing rendition of "Thank a Vet," all performed by all the children in the school and led on stage by the Fourth and Fifth Grade Select Choirs at the school.
Service members were asked to stand when their branch of the military was named and students roamed the crowd for mini-interviews with each veteran, while children on stage held banners honoring each branch of the armed forces.
Guests overflowed into the hallways at Eugene Ware and scores of veterans were on hand for the program as the school opened its doors to the community.
Later in the day, Fort Scott Middle School presented a program of thanks for veterans that included one of their own, eighth-grade history teacher Bill Stults, who served as a chief warrant officer III for U.S. Army Special Forces in Vietnam.
Stults honored two Kansans, Ed Rees, of Emporia, who in 1953 lobbied for Armistice Day to be changed to Veterans Day, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who saw to it that Rees' request was granted.
FSMS students Alex King and Taya McCorkle sang the national anthem and the seventh- and eighth-grade band performed "Prelude for a Band" and "March of the Patriots."
Guests and students also watched a short video about Congressional Medal of Honor recipient PFC Clarence Sasser, a medic who risked his life treat others during Vietnam.
FSMS student Mayson Layne wrapped up the program with a reading of "A Tribute to Veterans," in which he reminded his classmates not to forget where their freedom came from.