Veterans from all the branches of the military await the ceremony's start.
Veterans and their families gathered along with the staff and students of Harding
Middle School on Thursday, May 23, to commemorate Memorial Day as speakers such as the Commander of the Veteran's Council and Superintendent Jeff Patterson urged the students to never forget the price that many have paid for their freedom.
Veterans from World War II through the current Afghanistan conflict enjoyed a breakfast provided by Help to Others (H2O) before attending the ceremony with the entire Harding student body and staff. They heard from Richard Healy, the Commander of the Veteran's Council, Superintendent Patterson, Councilman David Anderson and keynote speaker, Sgt. Nathaniel Gager of the U.S. Marine Corps. Sgt. Gager gave a history of Memorial Day and its evolution and recited a touching poem about the life of a soldier.
Special this year to the event was a flag-retiring ceremony organized by teacher Bill Altman. With money provided by Harding PTSA, a new, larger flag was purchased for the school's flagpole. Following the ceremony, the students and staff proceeded to the ball field where Harding Scout students properly retired the old flag. The veterans gathered around the flag pole then proudly watched the new Old Glory rise.
To see more photos from the day, click here.