TSGC honors nation’s veterans

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Clark Boyd, who is now the Alabaster personnel director, speaks to students at the Thompson Sixth Grade Center during the school's Veterans Day program Nov. 10. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Veterans Day isn’t just a day off school, it’s a day to remember and honor those who have sacrificed everything to ensure America’s freedoms, a retired U.S. Army major told students at the Thompson Sixth Grade Center Nov. 10.

During the school’s Veterans Day program, retired Maj. Clark Boyd, who currently serves as the Alabaster personnel director, shared his thoughts on the holiday.

“I am honored to speak with you today, because you are the next generation of Americans,” Boyd told the hundreds of kids gathered in the school’s gymnasium.

Boyd told the students the holiday is not only to honor those who have served in the U.S. armed forces, but also to remember those who gave their lives to defend the country’s freedom.

“We have Veterans Day for the individuals who were left behind at places like Bunker Hill,” Boyd said. “We remember those who gave up their lives at places like the beaches of Normandy and Pearl Harbor, and those who are still giving up their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Boyd explained the history of Veterans Day, which was originally known as Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I. Several years later, the name was changed by Congress to Veterans Day to honor all military personnel who have served the country.

“I don’t want you to honor me today,” Boyd told the students. “I want you to remember the veterans who didn’t make it home to their families.”

TSGC Principal Brent Tolbert said the school holds a Veterans Day program each year to remind students of why they are out of school on the holiday.

“We talk with all the students about the importance of Veterans Day, and about the importance of why we are off tomorrow,” Tolbert said. “November 11 is Veterans Day, but we should honor them every day. We should think about the sacrifices they made so we can have the freedoms we enjoy.”

The program also featured performances by the school’s choir, the Thompson Middle School symphonic band and readings by several members of the TSGC Student Council.