On Monday, November 11th, Mansfield Choirs and 4th grade students honored our local heroes by hosting a Veterans Breakfast and Program. Local churches such as First Baptist of Mansfield, Mansfield Assembly of God, and Coop Prairie gave donations along with Mansfield Parent Involvement Committee to help fund the breakfast. Veterans and their families were served biscuits, gravy, sausage, fresh fruit, and sweet treats. Mansfield volunteers said they fed around 27 or more Veterans during the Veterans breakfast. After breakfast, veterans were led and escorted by the MHS Band Members to their special seating and the program began.
Fourth grade students marched out to the “Reveille” followed by the song, “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” All students from Senior High to Fourth grade were singing loud while others Fourth grade students built an American flag over 8 feet long and 17 feet wide! They were accompanied by Fourth grade musicians that were bucket drumming, tambourine playing, and cymbal crashing. However, that wasn’t all! There were also ribbon twirlers and kids marching with flags following up with, Holly Owen, a MHS junior singing as the soloist in the song.
Once that song was complete, VFW Post 4285 Honor Guard posted flags, and Fourth grade student, Rhaihan Islam, led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance. Once this was complete, MHS alumni and Veteran Guest speaker, First Class Sergeant Kevin Doug Escalante, took the floor and spoke on, “What Being a Veteran Means to Me.”
Students still had more to come following the wonderful guest speaker. The choirs sang, “The Military Medley,” honoring each branch of service as well as the “Star Spangled Banner.” Mansfield Junior High Choir sang, “American Heroes,” followed by Fourth grade singing, “Thank You Military” with small flags waving and the Lee Greenwood patriotic specialty, “God Bless the U.S.A.” MHS Band Member, Zaine Dugan, played taps as the VFW Honor Guard gave commands of salute to our American fallen soldiers.
Then, never before in the programs, the choirs and fourth grade joined forces to sing a song called, “Soldiers Light,” by dimmed lights and candles accompanied with an excellent slide show honoring our Veterans. Fourth grader, Addison Howard, and freshman, Meadow Richardson, accompanied as the soloists and did an excellent job! Tears flowed down the cheeks of visitors and veterans as all the students sang out the words to this song that paid tribute to the lives of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our country.
To conclude the program, the choirs and fourth grade sang their final song, “America the Beautiful.” Tenth grade student, Jaden Elmore, led the solo amazingly and then everyone joined in as fourth grade used sign language to communicate the lyrics.
The students did an excellent job honoring our Veterans. Mrs. Boyd, Mansfield’s Choir and Elementary Music teacher told Resident Press,
“I couldn’t be more proud of these students! They worked so hard and spent many hours working and preparing for this program. I am so thankful for the group of kids I have! Plus, I had many people help donate and serve at the breakfast. I couldn’t have pulled that off without their help! There is so many different ones that helped in different areas. I’m so thankful for all of my coworkers as well as the parent Volunteers for all of their help. I have so many Veterans in my own personal life that I could never say thank you enough to and this was one beautiful way to express our gratitude! Students were able to present a beautiful program giving honor to where it was due to our Unites States Veterans to honor them for all of their service and time that they sacrificed for our country.”