By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
For the first time in many years, Madison-Plains High School is among the Madison County area organizations and schools that will hold Veterans Day ceremonies.
Guidance counselor Sharie Shoaf is spearheading Madison-Plains’ event, which is open to the public and set for 2 p.m. Nov. 11 in the high school gymnasium.
“I’m very, very patriotic, always have been,” said Shoaf. “I feel touched that someone served so I can live in the United States.”
Shoaf said she hopes that, through the ceremony, students will gain that same sense of appreciation and a better understanding of the sacrifices made by men and women serving in the military.
In preparation for the Veterans Day celebration, Madison-Plains students and staff submitted information about military personnel they know—active, inactive or deceased. Invitations were sent to those who are living, asking them to attend the school’s event and thanking them for their service. All of the information and photos gathered will be displayed on a “Wall of Honor” in the high school commons.
Each service person who attends the celebration will be escorted to their seat under spotlight by the student or staff member who submitted their information. At that time, teacher Steve Jackson will announce their name, branch of service, years served and conflicts in which they fought.
Veterans from Mount Sterling Legion Post 417 will present the colors, and Madison-Plains FFA members will file into the gym carrying 50 American flags. A representative of the United States Army will talk about the history of the American flag and flag etiquette. Students will pass out flags to each person in the audience while the school band plays “You’re A Grand Old Flag.”
Zach Durban, a veteran and Madison-Plains teacher, will present the POW/MIA table, a display that honors prisoners of war and those missing in action. The small, round table is covered with a white tablecloth; one chair leans against it. Everything on the table holds special meaning, from a single red rose that symbolizes blood shed to salt sprinkled on a plate representing the tears of families who wait for word of their loved one.
Jim White, a substitute teacher in the district, will talk about the significance of Veterans Day. Technology teacher T.J. Crowder and his students created a slide show featuring the submitted information about veterans with local connections, as well as a synopsis of each war in which the United States has fought. The band and choir will perform several patriotic songs.
After the ceremony, a reception will be held and cookies and punch will be served.
In addition to those already mentioned, Shoaf’s Veterans Day committee members include Pam Drone, Linville Herald, Derek Scoles and Kelly Stoughton.
Anyone from the public who plans to attend the ceremony or who has questions can call Shoaf at (740) 490-0673 or Stoughton at 490-0671.
Shoaf recommends that attendees arrive at the school by 1:45 p.m. Students and staff will direct parking and escort guests into the school.