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Veterans gathered along with the staff and students of Harding Middle School on Tuesday to commemorate Memorial Day as Superintendent Jeff Patterson, Mayor Mike Summers and keynote speaker Ret. Col. Jim Riley of the U.S. Army urged the students to never forget the sacrifice that our fallen veterans made for them.
Before the ceremony, veterans enjoyed a breakfast provided by Help to Others (H2O) and before attending the ceremony. Attendees learned of the symboiism of the POW table items, and heard from the Mayor and Superintendent. Mayor Summers urged the students to remember to keep in mind the principle of the common good. "It is a worthy goal in which each of us make a sacrifice for the betterment of all" as the fallen veterans did, he said.
Col. Riley, who is also a retired Lakewood police officer and Harding Middle School alum, urged the students to imitate the ideals that our veterans espouse and to make sure to thank veterans' families as they are key in supporting our troops.
The Harding band played its traditional Armerd Forces on Parade, a medley of the various military branch songs and veterans stood to be recognized during their branch's song. The choir sang the national anthem.
Social studies teacher Bill Altman spoke about the details of the flag retirement ceremony would take place following the assembly. The flag ceremony, was carried out by a local Boy Scout Troops 115 and 68 and Girl Scout Troop 70013. It was a beautiful day outside at the ball field for the solemn and respectful ceremony.