Serving Those Who Have Served TCJA Reaches Out to Veterans in the Community
Tri-City Junior Academy (TCJA) Home and School served up the seventh-annual Veteran's Day Breakfast bright and early on Nov. 11, 2011, for those who have served our country. With donations from several church members and a small grant from Wal-Mart, volunteers prepared and served links, eggs, hash browns, muffins and fresh fruit for up to 400 people.
Following breakfast, TCJA students presented a program emceed by Paul Daniels, TCJA board member and veteran. A new U.S. flag and set of military banners spangled one wall of the gym, while thank-you posters created by students graced another. More than 25 veterans attended, including two World War II veterans. Daniels expressed appreciation that, while many schools are closed, TCJA remains open to honor veterans.
After the posting of the colors, the TCJA band played "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Miss Liberty March." Then Anthony Oucharek, TCJA principal, explained why he stopped sending students home on Veteran's Day six years ago. "Students were losing an understanding of why we celebrate this day," he explained. Oucharek pointed out that the words "lest ye forget" appear numerous times in the first six chapters of Deuteronomy and reminded the audience of the danger of forgetting.
Daniels read a roster of the veterans present so they could be audibly appreciated. Then the TCJA choir sang a medley of songs from each branch of service, while veterans stood up when they heard "their" song. Grades one through 10 sang "Stars and Stripes," and the kindergarteners presented each veteran with a small, hand-drawn flag. Everyone present observed a moment of silence followed by prayer. To conclude, the veterans lined up and were led by a local bagpiper to the flagpole on the front lawn, where they raised the flag together.
TCJA feels it is important to continue this signature tradition of honoring veterans in the community. Several years ago, the breakfast even resulted in the baptism of a local veteran. This tradition helps students remember the true meaning of the holiday.
Veterans raise the flag together.
The Tri-City Junior Academy (TCJA) choir sings the song of each branch of service, while newly added military banners are displayed in the background.
Several hundred turn out to honor their local veterans.