Natasha Rice, mother and a U.S. Army staff sergeant, said Monday was a busy day.
She has kids in three different Franklin County Schools, but she started Veterans Day with a breakfast with her 5-year-old son, Jonathan, at Early Learning Village. She said that she feels proud to see her kids when she visits their schools in uniform.
“It makes me happy that I get to celebrate this day with them because there’s so many holidays that sometimes I don’t get to celebrate with him and this is one that I enjoy doing with him,” Rice said of Veterans Day.
ELV held a Veterans Day program where students sang patriotic songs and veterans spoke about their service. Afterward, students and their invited veterans ate breakfast in the school’s library. Jonathan, who is in kindergarten, said the program made him feel “proud of Mommy.”
During the ceremony, ELV students waved flags while singing songs like “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “This Land is Your Land.” A handful of kids played “You Are My Sunshine” on bells. Saxophone players from the Franklin County High School band performed renditions of songs, including “America the Beautiful” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”
“Our school would like to thank all the veterans who came today,” ELV kindergartner Molly Osborne told the crowd before the program began. “Thank you for keeping us safe and thank you for all that you do for our country. We hope that you enjoy this special day."
Kentucky State University assistant football coaches Paul Hamilton and Stephen Pipes spoke during the Veterans Day program. While the pair are now co-workers, they first met in the Air Force.
“You guys are worth what we do on a daily basis, whether it is in garrison or out, in the air, on the sea, wherever it is,” Pipes said to ELV students and veterans at the school. “Thank you for being you. Thank you for what you provide us as far as motivation and support as we go about our daily lives.”
School officials also said a few words during the Monday ceremony.
“Truly thank you and God bless you for your service to this country. Thank you to all the families, spouses and family and kids of those who have served and thank you for being here today,” Superintendent Mark Kopp said.
“Thank you all for coming today as we honor all of our veterans who served our country. We’d like to thank you very much for that. Also, we are very appreciative of you all here to take part and to view our program,” ELV Principal Larry Murphy told the crowd.