County Schools Plan Numerous Veterans Day Events

Fairfax County public schools have planned a variety of Veterans Day events this week to honor current and former members of the U.S. Armed Services.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, November 9), Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School will host a delegation of six veterans as part of the History™ Channel’s fifth annual Take a Veteran to School Day.

The vets, who represent each branch of the military and every war involving the U.S. dating back to World War II, will arrive at 9:45 a.m. Fifth and sixth grade students will hear the veterans speak about their experiences and the conflicts in which they fought.

Gen. Allison Hickey, deputy secretary for Veterans Affairs, will be the guest speaker for the school’s morning announcements, and Mount Vernon Woods teachers who are veterans will be interviewed.

South Lakes program

South Lakes High School is planning three days of events in honor of Veterans Day. On Thursday, November 10, beginning at 9 a.m., members of the Japanese American Veterans Association will talk with students about life in an internment camp, their experience volunteering for the military intelligence service, and serving during the liberation of the Philippines and occupation of Japan.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Army Major General Richard Sherlock and his wife, Brigadier General Lyn Sherlock, will talk about honoring those who served. Following their presentation, the U.S. Army Drill Team from the Military District of Washington will perform at 9:45 a.m.

On Friday, November 11, South Lakes High teachers who are veterans will speak about their experiences and answer questions from students during two sessions, 9 and 9:45 a.m.

 Various programs

Other Fairfax County schools with special Veterans Day events planned for November 11 include:

  • At Aldrin Elementary, retired and active duty members of the military have been invited to the school at 2:30 p.m. for an assembly featuring songs and choral recitations by second grade students.
  • First grade students in Alison Provan’s class at Annandale Terrace Elementary will Skype with their teacher’s father, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, at 2 p.m. The children plan to create a VoiceThread of their conversation.
  • Coates Elementary second grade students have created a special program in honor of those who serve in the military that includes patriotic songs, historical facts, and an Armed Forces medley. Members of the military have been invited to attend the performances, which will be held at 2 and 3 p.m.
  • Veterans Day is an opportunity for third grade students at Crestwood Elementary to learn the art of writing a personal letter while researching the jobs of those who serve in the military. Students are writing to active duty military personnel stationed at the Pentagon and are including questions such as what it is like to be a soldier and if they have flown a helicopter or driven a tank. The students are also including facts about themselves. Their letters will be displayed in the Pentagon, and each student will receive a response to his or her letter.
  • Daniels Run Elementary students are creating red, white, and blue stars with the name, rank, branch of service, and era served for veterans with a connection to the school.  The finished stars will be place on a banner outside the cafeteria, and families have been invited to come for lunch, when the Daniels Run Singers will sing patriotic songs.
  • Deer Park Elementary students may invite a veteran or member of the military — who may be a family member, neighbor, or friend — for lunch between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Veterans are asked to wear their uniforms to this annual event, if possible.
  • Fairview Elementary will broadcast a PowerPoint presentation honoring the military on its morning news show, and students have been asked to wear red, white, and blue.
  • The 26th annual Patriots Day celebration at Flint Hill Elementary will feature Commander Fred Kacher, U.S. Navy, who has served multiple overseas deployments and on the staff of the Secretary of the Navy. Students in each grade will celebrate their patriotism and honor the military in song and dance.
  • At Fort Hunt Elementary, veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars are encouraged to visit fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classes and to bring photos, videos, and mementos to share. Parents who are currently on active duty will visit the primary grades.   They are also invited to have lunch at the school and are asked to wear their uniforms.
  • U.S. Navy Commander Tom Grodek will talk to Groveton Elementary students about his career in the military and share information from his son, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. Sixth grade students plan to correspond with his son’s unit.
  • At 10:15 a.m. second grade students at Haycock Elementary will perform a mock tour of Arlington National Cemetery, complete with narrated stops at Arlington House, the Women in Military Service to America Memorial, President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite, the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial, and the Tomb of the Unknowns. Some of the students will be dressed as famous historical figures who are buried in the cemetery. The performance is based on a field trip the second grade took this fall.
  • Family members of students at Keene Mill Elementary who have served or are serving in the military are invited to come to the school at 9:30 a.m. for a special ceremony and reception. SCA officers will present short speeches.
  • Based on the theme Symbols of Liberty, students at Key Center will create a depiction of a symbol of liberty that can be carried in the school’s Walk for Heroes. Student work will be photographed and will appear, along with photos of family members who served in the military, in a slide show.
  • Lanier Middle will present a musical tribute to America’s veterans at 7 p.m.   Students in advanced orchestra, men’s chorus, vocal ensemble, and wind ensemble will perform a program of patriotic music.
  • Mountain View Alternative High students will learn flag etiquette and the proper way to fold the American flag, then will work with VFW Post 5412 in Burke to present American and British flags to veterans who reside at Heatherwood Retirement Community.
  •  Navy Elementary will honor military veterans at 1 and 2 p.m. with patriotic songs, presentation of the colors by the Chantilly High School JROTC, and presentations by students explaining what Veterans Day means to them.
  • A Veterans Day assembly begins at 9:45 a.m. at Parklawn Elementary and will include special readings that explain the history of the day along with musical selections. Veterans who are attending as guests will be recognized as the anthems of the four branches of service are played.
  • The citation earned by Sgt. James W. Robinson, Jr., the first Virginia resident to receive the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and heroism during the Vietnam War, will be read at Robinson Secondary, named in his honor, during the annual Veterans Day ceremony, beginning at 1:20 p.m. Also planned is the presentation of the colors, music by the chorus, and a wreath laying ceremony by a member of the faculty. Principal Dan Meier, who established the ceremony several years ago, will make some remarks.
  • Veterans will be honored at breakfast, sponsored by the PTA, at Sunrise Valley Elementary, beginning at 8 a.m. Students and invited guests will share their thoughts on the importance of Veterans Day, and the chorus will lead a patriotic sing-along.
  • Washington Mill Elementary principal Tish Howard will continue her tradition of hosting a Veterans Day breakfast for veterans, reservists, and active duty members of the military, beginning at 9 a.m. Invited guests are welcome to send in photos of their families to be included in a slide show that will be shown during the breakfast.
  • A silent procession of students posting small American flags along the sidewalks in front of the school will begin the recognition of Veterans Day at Waynewood Elementary at 9:30 a.m. Students will then recite the Pledge of Allegiance by the flag in front of the school. The school’s TV news program will also honor veterans who are currently serving in the military.
  • Col. Philippe Rogers, USMC, will be the guest speaker at West Potomac High’s Veterans Day ceremony at 1 p.m. Rogers is deputy director of operations at the USMC Headquarters Operations Division. Guests who are currently serving in the military or are veterans will be recognized during the ceremony, which is sponsored by the school’s Army JROTC.
  •  A video tribute of active and retired military family and community members is the highlight of the Veterans Day celebration at West Springfield Elementary. The video includes clips of students reflecting on the day. Students also recite poems during the celebration, which begins at 9:15 a.m., and the anthems of the four branches of the service are played.
  • Members of the White Oaks Elementary PTA will bring home-baked breakfast goodies for a veterans breakfast that begins at 8 a.m. on Veterans Day. Veterans from the community are invited to attend the event in the school cafeteria as patriotic music plays.
  • Parents who are employed by the military have been asked to give a PowerPoint presentation and speakers will talk to the students about their jobs in the military at Wolftrap Elementary beginning at 8:50 a.m. Students are being encouraged to wear red, white, and blue.