Parade, patriotic programs, discussion, and History Channel part of Lexington 2 schools’ Veterans Day salutes

By Dawn Kujawa

Lexington Two schools have a slate of activities planned to salute area veterans for Veterans Day,  including a special event Monday, Nov. 6 with the History Channel.

Airport High School is participating in Take a Veteran to School Day, an initiative of the History Channel to connect young people with veterans to hear their stories about military service and to learn more about Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11. The History Channel program is in partnership with Spectrum Charter Communications.

Airport’s event will include nearly two dozen veterans on hand to visit history classes and join school-wide assemblies that will feature performances by the school choir and Airport’s award-winning JROTC. The first assembly begins at 9:45 a.m.

The History Channel also will moderate a panel discussion featuring SC Rep. Micah Caskey and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. James Smith. More than 1,400 students, educators and community leaders are expected to attend Airport’s events.

For veterans like retired Army E4 Spc. Calvin Richbourg, a Purple Heart recipient who served in Vietnam and will sit on the Airport panel, these kinds of school events are important for sharing the country’s history with students.

“A lot of students may read about Vietnam in history books, but I can put a face and voice with something that really happened,” said Richbourg, who has several family members, including two sons, who have served in the military and as first responders. “It makes me feel good to share that with them.”

Airport is one of more than 40 U.S. schools chosen to participate in the Take a Veteran to School program, according to Spectrum’s Leah Brown. The selection was based on Airport’s nationally recognized JROTC program and the school’s commitment to sharing the importance of recognizing veterans annually.

In addition to Airport, several other Lexington Two schools are planning salutes for Veterans Day. Area veterans are invited to these activities.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 8

BC Grammar No. 1 — In addition to Veterans Day lessons in each classroom, there will be school assemblies with a guest speaker talking about Army values and how they connect to BC Grammar’s ONE T.E.A.M. (Together, Engaging, Achieving, Motivating) motto. A presentation of colors and drill team performance with some members of the Airport High JROTC are also on tap. 10 a.m.; 114 Hook Ave., West Columbia

THURSDAY, NOV. 9

Fulmer Middle — There are featured speakers, patriotic music from band, choral and strings students, and each veteran will receive a framed piece of patriotic artwork created by visual arts students. 9 a.m.; 1614 Walterboro St, West Columbia

Brookland-Cayce High: The Honors Choir and JROTC will celebrate veterans during an assembly. Veterans will be recognized, and veterans and guests are invited to stay for lunch. 10 a.m.; 1300 State St., Cayce

FRIDAY, NOV. 10

Congaree Elementary — The celebration will include patriotic songs, and tributes to the military branches and veteran family members of students, faculty and staff.  Veterans from the community will receive flags and cards.  Those currently serving are invited to wear uniforms, and others are asked to wear red, white and blue. 8:30 a.m.; 1221 Ramblin Road, West Columbia

Springdale Elementary — A choral performance will include patriotic songs like “American Tears,” “I Love My Country,” “The Lights of Freedom” and “This is America.” Students also will share information about the United States and its freedoms, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and sing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” 9:30 a.m.; 2305 Frink St., Cayce

Pine Ridge Middle — There will be a Thank You Breakfast and small presentation. 8:15 a.m.; 735 Pine Ridge Drive, West Columbia

Pineview Elementary — Choral students will sing patriotic music, and there will be a guest speaker for the program. 9:30 a.m.; 3035 Leaphart Road, West Columbia

Northside Middle —  A morning assembly will feature retired Army Col. Jack Fogle, a Vietnam veteran and director of SC Youth Challenge Academy at McCrady Training Center in Eastover; and Air Force MSgt. Avery Weaver, flight chief in 169th Security Forces Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base. A Veterans Day lunch also is planned. 8:15 a.m.; 157 Cougar Drive, West Columbia

Congaree/Wood Early Childhood Center and Wood Elementary: CWECC and Wood will hold their annual Veterans Day parade. Classes create banners and costumes, and area veterans and families are invited to march in the parade around the schools. 12:45 p.m.; 737 and 739 Pine Ridge Drive, West Columbia

Richbourg, the Vietnam veteran, said these opportunities to share stories with future generations is important.

“There’s always been a lot of military influence in our community because of Fort Jackson,” the 68-year-old Lexington County resident said. “It’s important for young people to know as much about the military and the history of the military as they can. It’s such a big part of our life, and in the future, it’s up to them.”

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