For more than 20 years, veterans from World War I to those recently deployed in the Middle East have been honored by Kent City Community Schools. Throughout the district, throughout the year, students are engaged in the effort from inviting local veterans to host regular flag raising ceremonies at their buildings to hosting a Veterans Day extravaganza.
Area veterans this year – like every year – showed up in large numbers recently to share in the special event with the students. Over the years, the students have witnessed live artillery demonstrations, listened to many special speakers, climbed aboard tanks and a Black Hawk helicopter, and browsed through artifacts brought in by their guests.
“I think it is really cool that we have this special assembly and do so much to help the veterans,” said ninth grader Zane Kik, who attended this year’s Veterans Day luncheon with two grandfathers, both of whom served during the Vietnam War.
Lunch, coordinated and served by the student government, was only one part of the festive day. This year, guests were greeted early in the morning with sweets and coffee, and treated to an honor assembly, before lunch.
Another annual event is a Memorial Football Game, which raises money for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. This year they were able to add over $7,000 to the facility, topping $26,000 since the fundraising effort began seven years ago.