Char-Koosta New 

ARLEE — On Veterans Day the Arlee gymnasium was sans the sounds of basketballs and volleyballs, and filled with students taking part in the recognition of Veterans.

Arlee School District Grants Manager Anna Baldwin said Arlee was awarded a grant that educates students on the contributions of military veterans and active duty personnel in the preservation of democracy. The Veterans Day presentation was the second of four such educational efforts slated for this school year.

“Many of the students don’t have the concept of military service and the honor to that or the importance of the flag,” she said and the grant is one way to ensure that they learn about such things.

To that end former Marine Gunnery Sergeant Chuck Lewis gave an overview of Veterans Day that began as Armistice Day. The genesis of the day is related to the date the armistice was signed that ended World War I — the war to end all wars — on November 11, 1918. However wars continued consequently in 1954, Armistice Day was officially renamed Veterans Day in honor of veterans serving in its various military branches during times of war and peace. He also discussed the important symbolism of the American flag.

The Red Sand Drum sang the flag and an honor song in recognition of military veterans and active duty personnel.

The first grade class made cards to present to Veterans in appreciation of their service.

Baldwin said the Veterans Day program is something she would like to see become an annual event at the school and will be working towards that end.

Lewis said it was and is an honor to have served in the military and to continue to serve via involvement as a veteran. Lewis has been at the point of educating the public including students at area schools about the military and the importance of serving the country. In fact Lewis put his talk to the walk, and in 2013 he walked from Seattle to Washington, DC spreading the message about the needs of military veterans, especially the wounded and raising funds for them all across his route. Truly an expression of the Semper Fi spirit of the Marines.

In sum: “Thank you for you service, Veterans.”

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