Veterans honored for service at local assemblies
November 12, 2014
In honor of Veterans’ Day, area schools and groups held special assemblies and meetings to honor those who served in the armed forces. Cassville Schools, Southwest Schools, Purdy Schools, Cassville Healthcare and Rehab, and the American Legion Post 118 each honored veterans with assemblies, presentations and a breakfast over the weekend and on Tuesday.
Cassville High School held their 26th annual Veterans’ Day Assembly, the largest that the school puts on each year. New principal Jeff Swadley led the festivities which included music, essays, a flag folding ceremony and certificate presentations to each veteran in the audience.
This year’s essay contest asked the question of how to explain veterans’ Day to third graders. The two winners were Kiley Wolf and Zach Denton who read the winning pieces to the gymnasium full of students, community members and veterans.
This year, the High School and Middle School mass choirs collaborated to perform Thank You Soldiers, then the High School Mass Choir performed Bridge Over Troubled Water with solos by Kristen Cox and Tre Stewart.
The thirteen folds presentation featured Damon Pueppke and Blake Weston of the JROTC folding the flag. The flag was then presented to Major S. Scott Taliaferro’s mother, Patti Daniels. Daniels has been with Cassville Schools for 25 years.
Major Taliaferro is a 1994 Cassville High School graduate and is a special forces offer attending Command General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Taliferro has deployed multiple times during his military career and has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal the National Defense Service Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon.
As JROTC member Blake Weston presented the flag to Taliferro’s mother, a teary moment for many in attendance, Principal Swadley said, “Sending your child over, I just can’t imagine that.”
Swadley then went on to recognize each of the individual veterans in attendance at the assembly and the assembly was closed out with Taps performed by band director Mr. Frederickson.
Assemblies like the one at Cassville and area schools serve as a somber reminder of what others have given up to ensure the freedom of those not only in the United States, but those in need of protection in other countries, as well.
At Cassville’s assembly, there were times that the crowd was enthusiastic to show appreciation for the service by veterans that the crowd erupted in applaud and shouts. However, when Swadley asked for a moment of silence for all POW/MIA soldiers, you could hear a pin drop at the somber thought that many have given the ultimate sacrifice serving their country.