Central Private Celebrates Veteran’s Day

Lauren Leep

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Central Private School commemorated Veterans Day with a school assembly and tribute to our veterans. The assembly opened with a presentation of colors by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Scout Troop 51. This was followed by the invocation by Student Council President Tyler Santangelo and Pledge of Allegiance by Remi Shumate, a 5th grade student. The elementary choir under the direction of music teacher, Connie Boles, led the school in the National Anthem.

Following greetings by Head of School, Robert Martin, and Elementary Administrator, Terrie Hodges, 4th grader Lillian Duval recited the poem, “What Is A Veteran.”

Retired Major General Hunt Downer, a former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs who served in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield and a former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives served as emcee of the program. General Downer recognized the veterans in attendance by calling each group individually by war or conflict, as well as active duty personnel. This was followed by a POW-MIA Tribute. The tribute honored each Louisiana Vietnam Veteran either listed as “Prisoner of War” or “Missing in Action” by the United States Government. Today there are 24, who have not been returned to their families. Junior Mary Hannah Varnado read the “Missing Man” table tribute and Senior Morgan Campbell recognized the symbolic items are they were described, such as the white tablecloth which symbolizes the purity of their motives, and the single red rose of the life of each of the missing and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, awaiting answers. Senior Class President Michael Friedman read the names of each of the 24 while senior Kaleb Fontentot and Junior Carlyle Smith lit candles for each. Taps was played at the end of the tribute and Kate Sumner, a 5th grade student read the poem, “We Remember Them.”

Senior Kaleb Fontenot gave the Benediction and the assembly was dismissed.

Buddy Poppy lapel pins, sponsored by the Department of Louisiana Veterans of Foreign Wars, were given to each veteran and military personnel in attendance.