Allie Martin

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Video: North Pontotoc Elementary Honors Vets

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ECRU, Miss. (WCBI) – For more than two months fourth graders at North Pontotoc Elementary have been hard at work on a big production.

“We’re going to see our kids bringing in each of the military flags.  They will put on a program where they will sing and celebrate America from armistice to the moon,” said Librarian Tonja Johnson, who helped organize the program.

The dramatic and musical presentation covered key events in the nation’s history , the important role the military has played through it all and the sacrifices made by those who answer the call.

More than 150 students took part in the production.  The youngsters say they not only enjoyed honoring veterans, but also learned a lot in the process.

“If the veterans hadn’t fought for us we wouldn’t be here right now, having the freedom and doing this play ourselves,” said Fourth Grader Lauren Powers.

More than 400 veterans from across the nation were invited to the program.  Pontotoc native Bill Wardlaw retired from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer in 1979 and says the musical teaches kids the importance and value of military service.

“Freedom is not free and we had to devote our time to protect that freedom and protect the principles upon which our country was founded  so fourth graders can grow up and have the freedom we enjoy too,” Chief Petty Officer Wardlaw said.
Also in the crowd, active duty military.  Staff Sergeant Rikke Toney has been deployed to the Middle East three times in 11 years. She appreciates the show of support.

“It is so overwhelming to know that I am a part of something so much bigger than myself.  All these veterans that were here today , it’s great to see them and how they still come out and support the event and just to know that they are truly appreciated,” Staff Sgt. Toney said.

At the end of the program, all veterans were invited to a lunch prepared just for them.