Local schools celebrate Vets

By Lori Cathey
This past Veterans Day local schools in the Tri-City held celebratory programs to honor veterans. Yorkville School celebrated Thursday at 1 p.m. On Friday Gibson County High School and Kenton School both had programs at 9 a.m., Dyer School at 11 a.m. and Rutherford School at 1:30 p.m.
Yorkville School Principal Sharon Lee greeted everyone at the program and Amy Powell sang the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Zoey Neal followed by Gracie Schliefer giving the opening prayer.
Judy Hassell introduced the guest speaker, First Lieutenant Stephen Powell of Dyer. After Powell’s speech Harry Jetton played an Armed Services Salute and Hassell recognized the attending veterans.
The program ended with Bill Laarz playing ‘Taps’.
Gibson County High School’s Student Council presented their Veterans’ Day Program in the gymnasium. Around 20 veterans attended the program and were honored by the student body with speeches, poems and patriotic songs.
The program began with GC Principle Jim Hughes welcoming everyone and thanking the veterans for their service.
The posting of the colors, the American and state flag, was by Lauren Kelly and Brooklyn McCollum. Hannah Metcalfe led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Alyssa Hopper, Allie Smithson, Riley Jo Tate and Anna Grace Jones sang the National Anthem. Darcie Halliburton read patriotic poems “The Solder” and Kaitlyr Zarecor explained the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance. The GCHS Chorus sang, “Count on me”.
The guest speaker was First Lieutenant Stephen Powell of Dyer. Powell has served in the National Guard for the past 10 years. Lieutenant Powell is the Battalion Chaplain for the 230th Engineer Battalion located in Trenton, Tennessee.
He graduated from Gibson County High School in 2005 and Union University in 2010. Lieutenant Powell enlisted in the Tennessee Army National Guard in 2006 and completed a Masters of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2014.
Lieutenant Powell was commissioned as a Chaplain in the Tennessee Army National Guard in 2014.
He is a recipient of various Army and Tennessee Army National Guard awards.
The soldier willing to go into harm’s way to preserve our freedoms was the focus of his speech. “It’s truly honored to address these men and women who answered the call to serve our nation,” said Powell. “It’s hard to believe 10 years ago I was sitting here in this gym looking down at these American heros’ as you are today.”
Powell pointed out that less than one percent of the population will ever put on the uniform of any branch of the military.
Lydia Todd and Corrine Rutherford read the names of all the veterans, alumni and staff attending, who served or are serving in the military now.
Chad Jackson sang ‘God Bless the USA’ and the GCHS Chorus led the singing of ‘God Bless America’ with the student body.
The program end with the retiring of the colors, while Maggie Powell and Hunter McCall played ‘Taps’.
Principal Hughes then thanked everyone for their attendance and the veterans for their service and invited them to a reception following the program.
Local veterans were honored with a program in the Dyer School gymnasium with guest speaker Trey Lynch.
Kenton Elementary School also held a program with guest speaker William Sims followed with a reception in the library for the veterans.
Rutherford School honored area veterans with the annual Veterans Day parade downtown followed by a program in the school gym.

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