Gathering of gratefulness

“Honor to the soldier and the sailor everywhere, who bravely bear the country’s cause.  Honor also to the citizen who cares for the brother of the field, and serves, as best can, the same cause.”  ~President Abraham Lincoln

100 years ago today, the “war to end all wars” ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month in 1918.  Many gather today and each Veteran’s Day to show support, love, honor, and appreciation to our brave men and women who valiantly have served or are serving our country.  I am fortunate to currently live in what’s known as a Purple Heart Community. It’s not unusual for me to run across active and retired military personnel daily when out-and-about in our community.  During my early morning walk on a local community trail this morning, I came across a special ceremony marking the importance of this day. Stopping to silently observe and give thanks for the Veterans in my life, their families who support their important work, and the freedoms we cherish (like the abilities to freely VOTE, speak, write, worship, serve, teach, learn, and love), I also took the unique opportunity to smile, shake hands, and thank each person there.

Generation after generation, Americans have stepped forward to defend our freedom and preserve the founding principles of our great Nation.  From Valley Forge to Vietnam, from Kuwait to Kandahar, from Berlin to Baghdad, and well beyond across our planet, these patriots stood watch over America’s peace, and when necessary, carried the costs of our Nation’s wars, many giving the ultimate sacrifice in service.  These brave men and women have cleared the seas, charged the hills, and covered the skies.  We must pledge to uphold each Veteran’s legacy by teaching our younger generations about the role in securing the cost of liberty.  As my momma said, “In teaching others, we teach ourselves.” 

Day #29:  How will you choose to share gratefulness with a Veteran in your life? 

Beyond the emphasis of today, may we always take opportunities to remember, reflect, and revisit the service and sacrifices of our Nation’s Veterans…and here’s hoping you stop every time and take a moment to gratefully thank a Veteran.

PS:  If you know a Veteran requiring assistance, please call 1-877-WAR-VETS; they are ready to support any Veteran at any time. 

Veteran’s Day 2013!

In teaching others, we teach ourselves; the best and greatest teach from their hearts.  As is our tradition at LME, we take this day to honor vet2and thank the brave men and women who choose to serve our nation’s military.  Our fifth grade classes spend great time in preparing historical displays on the branches of military service, preparing scripts and texts, and learning patriotic musical singing and bell-ringing numbers to share.  With the entire school decked out red, white, and blue, we gather together to offer our love, support, and genuine thanks to our nation’s finest citizens, our Veterans.

vet1This year, we were particularly blessed to have servicemen from four of the military branches present the U.S., Texas, and military flags at the beginning of the program.  Special thanks to Air Force Master Sergeant Joe Cabler, Army Sergeant Doug Schimdt, Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Jeffery Grant Sr., Army and Marine Corps Sergeant Ray Maldonado, Navy Seaman Joe Hocker, and Air Force Lieutenant Jeffery Grant Jr., and Navy seaman and master trumpeter Bill Thompson for participating with us!

This annual tradition marks an opportunity to remember, reflect, and revisit the service and sacrifices of the brave men and women who have before, who are today, and who will tomorrow give unselfishly of themselves on behalf of our freedom and liberty in the United States of America!  Here’s hoping we each stop today (and everyday) to thank a Veteran!

Note:  GREAT job, 5th grade learners and classroom leaders; barely a dry eye left in the room at the end!  🙂 

Salute to our Veterans!

“Honor to the soldier and the sailor everywhere, who bravely bears the country’s cause.  Honor also to the citizen who cares for the brother of the field, and serves, as he best can, the same cause…”  These powerful words spoken by President Abraham Lincoln pledged support and thanks for the service and work of our nation’s veterans.

As is tradition here at LME, our fifth grade team presented a highly moving and emotional salute to our veterans.  Through beautiful singing, handbells ringing, speaker reflections, and visual images, they shared our love and thanks to the brave men and women who valiantly have served and are currently serving our country.

With more than 25 million US veterans living today, they represent a highly elite group of Americans who have cleared the seas, charged the hills, and covered the skies in defense of our freedom.  We honor our veterans and their families and say thanks for serving our country!

Mr. Bill Thompson, retired US Navy (and MISD bus driver) shared arrival bugle calls and closed our program with the sounding of the Army’s traditional “Taps.”  There are words to this melancholy tune:

“Day is done; gone the sun; from the hills, from the lakes, from the skies.  All is well, safely rest; God is nigh.  Thanks and praise; for our days; ‘neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, ‘neath the sky.  As we go, this we know; God is nigh.”

Our Scout Troop 277 presented the colors and led our campus in pledges.  Fifth grader, Heather, beautifully sang the words to the “Star-Spangled Banner” followed by the chorus singing a touching rendition of “The Pledge of Allegiance.”  Other songs included were “Thank a Vet,” “Welcome Home,” and “There You’ll Be.”  Handbell Ringers enthusiastically played “America the Beautiful” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”  Special projects created by 5th grade learners shared research and interesting facts about the service divisions of the armed forces.  All students were invited to display pictures and information of veterans connected to our campus on the annual Wall of Honor.

You can say we were definitely “TEAMing with American Pride” last night and today in our red, white, and blue to salute and show our support, love, and thanks to our veterans while pledging all week to be drug-free American citizens…“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” (President John F. Kennedy)

Note:  Our campus is involved on Tuesday (Election Day) in casting our ballots for the next US President.  We will share our results with you.  Here’s hoping you set an active example and exercise your right as a US citizen to VOTE in the election this year!