story and photos submitted by the Fort Smith Public Schools
Students throughout Fort Smith Public Schools paid Veterans Day tribute to men and women who have served their country.
Ten schools, including Barling, Beard, Booneville, Fairview, Howard, Pike, Sutton and Woods Elementary Schools, as well as Darby and Kimmons Junior High Schools hosted Veterans Day assemblies and ceremonies throughout the week to commemorate the national holiday.
U.S. Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers, was a special guest speaker at Howard Elementary School’s Wednesday morning assembly. Boozman talked to the students about growing up in Fort Smith and about his role today in Congress. He answered several questions posed by students regarding his childhood and his job. Several other speakers, including Capt. Matt Holguin of the 188th Fighter Wing and his son, Airman 1st Class Tyler Holguin spoke to the students about the importance of Veterans Day and about their life in the military.
Army Reserve Master Sgt. Beverly Martens, a teacher at Howard, shared with the students about her more than 20 years experience in the Army Reserve.
Students at Bonneville Elementary School hosted a Veterans Day Assembly on Wednesday (Nov 10). Principal Sharla Whitson spoke to the students about the military and the sacrifices made by service men and women and their families. The
Bonneville Choir sang a medley of patriotic songs. At the ceremony, third-grader Haley Sanchez read the official Veterans Day Proclamation made by President Obama.
On Thursday, Pike Elementary recognized local veterans with certificates of appreciation. Veterans from World War II, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and several other conflicts were among those in attendance.
At Kimmons Junior High, both the band and choir performed patriotic numbers and members of the JROTC presented the colors. J.R. Dallas, a retired colonel with the Arkansas Air National Guard and former commander of the 188th Fighter Wing, recounted the history of Veterans Day. He also spoke to the students about the day’s significance and explained that it is “up to them” to carry on the nation’s proud legacy.
Jim Garvey, Northside High School Principal and Arkansas Air National Guard Captain, presented Principal David Watkins an American Flag flown over Afghanistan earlier in the year. Garvey, who previously served as the principal at Kimmons, expressed his gratitude to the students for writing letters to him while he was stationed overseas.