School Plans Public Veterans Day Ceremony as Way to Pay It Forward

Among the highlights will be a slide show of local current and former soldiers' photos, a video honoring fallen Plainfield soldier Andrew Meari and an appearance by the Patriot Guard.

in Plainfield is planning a special Veterans Day celebration and all area veterans are invited to participate and be honored.

Principal Edward Boswell said the school wants to reinforce the idea that Veterans Day is an important holiday for families and the community, and veterans should be honored for their service to the country.

Students with family members who have served or who are currently serving in the Armed Forces will be recognized during the ceremony, which will take place at 9 a.m. Thursday in the school’s gymnasium. The event is also open to members of the public who register in advance.

“Our teachers have done a great job recognizing our local veterans and students who have veterans in their families,” Boswell said.

As part of the ceremony, a picture montage set to music featuring students’ family members who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces will be played. The band and choirs will perform as well as the Chicago Police Department’s Bagpipe and Drum Corps.

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a group dedicated to showing respect for fallen soldiers, their families and their communities, will also be in attendance.

A special video of the funeral procession of , a Plainfield native who was killed in Afghanistan, is expected to be played. The video was put together by Heidi Kelly, a sergeant with the Plainfield Emergency Management Agency.

The Ira Jones School will also be participating in the annual Wreaths Across America event. The school is raising money to buy wreaths for veterans who are buried at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood. The wreaths, which will be laid at the cemetery on Dec. 10, cost $15 each, and the school’s goal is to collect enough funds to buy 100 wreaths to remember lost veterans.

Boswell said the school teaches its students to “pay it forward,” and its students really step up when honoring veterans.

“Our military is a volunteer military,” Boswell said. “They volunteer knowing they could be killed in action. We have volunteers in this world standing ready to fight. It is a powerful message for our children.”

Residents interested in attending the Veterans Day ceremony at Ira Jones, 15320 Wallin Drive, should contact the school in advance and must show picture identification in the main office.

Residents interested in helping the school raise money for Wreaths Across America can also contact the school at 815-267-3600.

Marge Taylor November 07, 2011 at 01:35 PM
Thanks to Ira Jones Middle School for its dedication to veterans.


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