LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Artwork, patriotic songs and Lynn Haven Elementary students filled the school’s cafeteria Friday for a Veterans Day Program.
Veterans from each branch of the military stood as the Lynn Haven Freedom Singers sang the song of each branch. William Michael Shepherd is a master sergeant at Tyndall Air Force Base and attended the program. His children attend the school and said hearing the excitement in their voices is something he couldn’t miss.
“It’s definitely for the kids, but it’s also to see other veterans within the community and see them all come together and still have that bond that we developed within the Air Force,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd heard the Air Force’s song and said it was unique to hear it.
“It’s always humbling whenever you’re amongst a civilian crowd and you hear that song and people can recite the song. It’s definitely emotional at times,” Shepherd said.
Students also recited poems and sang songs such as “This Land is Your Land.” The program has been going on for the last five years, but was cancelled last year due to Hurricane Michael.
“We just have so many different veterans in our community, and it was just a way we could honor them and show them how thankful we are for them,” Stacy Walsingham, kindergarten teacher, said. “We’ve been learning about [veterans] all week, we’ve been talking about them all week and how important it is to say thank you for your service.”
For Shepherd, seeing the students honor veterans is something he says is a legacy that will continue.
“Knowing that the kids know understand what it’s all about, they understand the sacrifices that every service member has made, no matter what the situation, no matter what status they’re currently in,” he said.
Walsingham said she was crying during the program as she saw it all come together and her kids singing.
“It takes a true team to make this program successful … every grade contributes and it was just amazing to see them just do what they did,” Walsingham said.
Watch the video below to see the Freedom Singers perform “God Bless the USA.”