Walton Middle School gym was filled with Veterans and their families Friday morning, November 8, as the WMS band kicked off the 47th Annual WMS Veterans Day Appreciation program with "Valor March" by Larry Clark. Following a Welcome and Invocation, the Walton High School AFJROTC presented the Colors and Service Flags.
Assistant Principal Scott Hulion read out the names of attending Veterans during a special "Roll Call", with representatives from every branch of U.S. military service. They were recognized and honored with resounding applause by the students, staff and familiy members present.
The WMS Chorus, directed by Lona Robinson, performed the National Anthem and "Thank You, Soldiers", soloist Pruedance Riversa, as a tribute to the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women, and their families. "To the soldiers who have traveled on to countries far and near, in peace and war you paid the price for the cause you hold so dear!"
The Walton High School Drill Team presented a Rifle exhibition demonstration, and band students Giavani Castiglione and Jala Thorne performed "Taps" with a moment of silence as a show of remembrance and respect for those who gave their lives for their country. Walton High School JROTC Cadets presented a flag folding ceremony with a narration explaining the significance and meaning of the ceremony.
The 8th Grade Symphonic WMS band, under the direction of Kamber Rafferty, shared a "The Legacy of Heroes", an awe-inspriing work that pays tribute to fallen military heroes by Michael Story.
Principal Jason Campbell introduced guest speaker MAJ Daniel Brown, 1-153 Cavalry Regiment, Florida Army National Guard, who spoke about the importance of remembering those who have given their all for our country. "There are so many brave men and women who have served in a branch of the military, and raised their right hand to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. The honor of doing so should not be lost on us as Americans."
Following the ceremony and closing remarks by Mr. Campbell, and the retiring of the Colors by the WHS AFJROTC, the Veterans and their families were treated to a special reception hosted by the WMS faculty and students.
Student speakers Emma Lathinghouse, Joseph Gould, Daisy Proffitt, Zayla Wilson, Ellie Clemmons, Paige Allen, Trinity Collins and Cady Robinson did a wonderful job with instroductions, sharing poems and readings, presenting a special candle lighting ceremony, and with the opening invocation and closing benediction.
All in attendance appreciated the hard work and effort on the parts of those who planned and facilitated this very meaningful program!