Area schools honor veterans

BASCOM – Veterans were honored Monday at Hopewell-Loudon Local Schools during a White Table and Flag ceremony in honor of Veterans Day.

Fifty-five veterans representing every branch of the military attended.

Elementary Principal Jen Losey said Veterans Day is one of her favorite holidays.

“I am proud of our school and our students and proud of the veterans that have served and that are currently serving,” she said. “Remember to honor those with smiles and thank them.”

Sixth-grade students presented America’s White Table ceremony. The ceremony was created from a children’s book “America’s White Table” by Margot Theis Raven. It honors men and women who have served or are serving in the armed forces including those missing in action and are held as prisoners of war and are unable to be with their loved ones.

The ceremony consists of a small round table set for one symbolizing armed forces members missing, a white table cloth symbolizing a soldier’s pure heart, a lemon slice showing a soldiers’ bitter fate, salt on a plate for tears of families of loved ones not present, a black napkin for captivity, a white candle for peace and a red rose for hope that the missing return someday.

In addition to the ceremony, students, faculty and staff raised $1,000 in a change-for-change drive, where individuals would bring in their loose change to donate.

The money went toward buying items for 51 veterans who reside in local nursing homes, Elmwood Assisted Living, Autumnwood Care Center, both in Tiffin, and Good Shepherd Home in Fostoria.

The veterans wrote down items they needed, such as blankets, socks, snacks and other personal items, and the items were purchased.

Kindergarten through seventh grade gifted teacher Anne Arnold helped organize the ceremony. She said that in previous ceremonies, they donated items to soldiers serving overseas.

“This year we thought to honor those locally. This was a nice way to honor them,” Arnold said.

The girls basketball team also adopted a veteran who served during the Vietnam War. They also donated several personal items.

The ceremony concluded outside in front of the flag pole. The marching band played the “Star Spangled Banner,” veterans conducted an “Order of Arms” with seven rifles firing three volleys and taps was played to conclude the ceremony.