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West Madison proves patriotism in ‘A Day of Honor’ for veterans

Violinist Emma Boyd, at center, performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" during "A Day of Honor" for military personnel at West Madison Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Violinist Emma Boyd, at center, performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” during “A Day of Honor” for military personnel at West Madison Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Monday morning’s typical assembly at West Madison Elementary School transformed into “A Day of Honor” for veterans.

Coordinators invited all veterans, active-duty soldiers and reservists to attend on Nov. 10. These West Madison parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles received letters and thank-you cards from the children. Students also prepared extra letters for delivery to Floyd E. ‘Tut’ Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville on Veterans Day.

For the Heroes’ Ceremony at 7:40 a.m., fifth- and sixth-grade boys in the Student Leadership Team led guests to the gym. The audience recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Violinist Emma Boyd performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Bob Jones Honor Guard presented the colors. One Honor Guard member, West Madison alumna Sara Wroblewski will graduate from Bob Jones High School in 2015 and attend Marion Military Academy on scholarship.

Wendy Tibbs’ gifted fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders each wrote thank-you letters, crafted handmade envelopes from recycled calendars, memorized a poem and practiced signing “America the Beautiful. ”

Then, the military personnel enjoyed a breakfast, courtesy of West Madison teachers and staff. The school-wide effort “showed our appreciation to our school communities’ veterans,” gifted specialist Wendy Tibbs said. “The event was a success. About 20 active-duty military and veterans attended.”

The leadership team led military guests on a school tour. Hallways were covered with thank-you messages for the veterans — from door coverings by faculty and students, to letters, essays and artwork dedicated to veterans.

Tibbs’ students then visited Madison Senior Center and reprised their program. They stayed another hour and played games with the seniors, Tibbs said.

West Madison students taught the seniors to juggle with juggling scarves. Center members and the West Madison youth played chess, Connect Four, Uno and checkers. Tibbs acknowledged the cooperation by students, their parents and center activities coordinator Joy Edwards.

“Several senior citizens commented on how much they enjoyed the interaction, praising the students for mingling with adults and their willingness to come out with people they might not normally know,” Tibbs said.

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