Veterans Day was celebrated a day early on Nov. 10 in Checotah so Checotah Public Schools could show their appreciation to local veterans in the area.
First the FCCLA class made a quilt that was won by one of the veterans, Gary Cotner, and a hot breakfast was served to veterans and their family by the school.
This year the Checotah FFA, along with Ag teachers, Zach Ilbery and Erica Goodson, was in charge of the Veterans Assembly Program which made everyone proud of the men and women who sacrificed to give back to their country.
FFA officers led the program with Ryan Miles having the opening remarks followed by Rocky Sallee-Hicks leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and a Moment of Silence.
Checotah Superintendent Monte Madewell welcomed all the veterans and told how saying thank you really didn’t seem like enough for all the men and women who did so much to serve their country.
Chayda Carpenter gave the brief History of Veterans Day and CHS Principal Jennifer Campbell introduced Senator Roger Thompson who brought a heartfelt speech of why we live in the land of the free because of the brave men and women who have given up their freedoms and even their lives to ensure our tomorrow. Senator Thompson went on to say that in America today many of the freedoms that we have just taken for granted are now under attack.
“Why am I bringing up some of these principles on this historic day when we are here to honor our veterans? Because I’m telling you that in America today those same principles are under attack. Freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of assembly are under attack. Our personal rights and lives have become more subject to the government than the government is to us. But the flag still waves high for those who have fought for our freedoms and they still continue to fight. So students as you look down on these veterans, they leave us with the example of being able to stand up for our freedoms because we are only one generation away from losing the very freedoms that we have. Elmer Davis stated ‘This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.’ So we give honor where honor is due. We honor our veterans here today.”
Rachel Stauffer and Dalton Johnson introduced the veterans in attendance as they stood to be applauded.
The CHS Blue Notes sang the National Anthem early in the program and also a patriotic medley, while the Class of Checotah performed the Armed Forces Medley.
A touching video montage was played which brought tears to a lot of eyes.
Alexis Horton gave an excellent speech on “Two Words, Eight Letters” and why thank you is so important to say. Finally Rocky Sallee- Hicks and Dalton Johnson performed the “Folding of the Flag” and “Taps” was played by the Class of Checotah.
After the assembly, veterans joined the local police, firemen, band and jeep group for a parade downtown as they were cheered on by Marshall Elementary, Checotah Intermediate School and the community.