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Months of work and planning provided Wildwood Middle High School students with an annual Veterans Day celebration earlier this week. The event was designed to honor those who have worked to preserve America’s freedom and was coordinated by teachers Patrice Palmer and Debbie Barnes.
After weeks of planning the presentation was held last Monday morning in the school gymnasium, with hundreds of students and faculty gathered. Presenters read condensed versions of poems and other fact-based speeches regarding military history. For example, “I am Old Glory” was read by Emma Palmer, “The Gettysburg Address” read by Travis Theige, “In Flanders Field,”read by Danielle Cole and an excerpt from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address read by Dayvion Norris.
The Wildwood Middle High School Band played several patriotic songs “Taps” was played by Richard Dyal and Daniel Schreiner.
The event also included a video presentation of veterans who have graduated from Wildwood or are related to someone at the school.
Veterans from American Legion Post 18 posted the colors for the event and guest speaker Pamela Johnson worked to remind the crowd what and who veterans are. Johnson served with the United States Coast Guard.
Johnson shared a number of statistics with the crowd, including the fact that 9.2 million are over 65 and 1.9 million are under 35.
She said 1.8 million are women and 33 percent of all veterans now living served in Vietnam. Florida is among the five states with the highest population of veterans, tying for second with Texas, with 1.7 million veterans.
Johnson closed her speech with one suggestion for the crowd, noting if they meet a veteran in the future, “thank them, thank them and thank them.”