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Honoring those who served, all year long

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.

John Ebers, whose children graduated from the school, has attended many Kent City Veterans Day events

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.

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Janice Holst
Janice Holst is a reporter covering Kent City and Sparta. She has been both a teacher and a journalist. A former MLive reporter, she wrote features and covered local government and schools for Advance Newspapers for nearly two decades. She also was a recipe columnist and wrote features for Mature Life Style and occasional entertainment pieces for On The Town magazines. She lives in Sparta Township and enjoys spending some of her retirement hours writing the stories of the northern Kent County school districts. Read Janice's full bio

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