With schools out on Monday for Veterans Day, Kate Shepard Elementary held a special assembly on Friday to honor veterans in its community.
About 20 veterans attended, and were recognized by name. One of them, Mobile City Councilman John Williams, served as the guest speaker.
“This is absolutely incredible, truly the best veterans celebration I have ever been to — great kids, a great organization, a wonderful school. It really warmed my heart,” Williams said afterward. “It’s days like today that I never dreamed of when I was joining. I know all these veterans are so appreciative, as I am, of the recognition, being part of a country and part of a community that recognizes its veterans.”
Kate Shepard Principal Kay Smith said it was the first time her school had done such an assembly honoring veterans. She got the idea from one of her teachers, whose class includes many students with parents or grandparents who are veterans.
“We put it together so the kids could understand what Veterans Day is and appreciate the importance of serving their community and their country,” Smith said.
One of the honorees, U.S. Army reservist Bryant Kimbrough, said he appreciated the gesture and said it’s important for young people to understand the importance of serving one’s country.
“It’s very special in a unique way,” said Kimbrough, whose daughter attends Kate Shepard. “A lot of the younger children are just now getting started with their education. I think it’s very important for them to at least have that knowledge — respect and appreciation have to be earned — but at least the knowledge or generally just thinking about veterans, what that actually means, just kind of that beginning exposure.”