CLEARFIELD – A yearly tradition, veterans and servicemen visited the Clearfield Elementary School to participate in showing young students the human face of the armed services and lessons regarding patriotism.
The presentation began with students leading the veterans from the school library, handing roses to each veteran, to the gymnasium where they sat in a row before the school body. Some students waved flags, but nearly all the students energetically enjoyed the show.
Thirty-three sat before the student population. Six Army Reservists and National Guard, 21 visiting veterans and six Boy Scouts from troop #2. The range of the veterans ranged from currently-serving to retired and World War II.
Students were treated to tales. The scout troop recited “I am your flag” as they folded the flag brought with them. Ken Carlson used holidays to explain what veterans did for the country.
“What could this Christmas present have to do with Veterans Day?” asked Carlson after working his way up from Valentine’s Day to Christmas.
His answer was that veterans give the gift of freedom.
The children were treated to a presentation at the closing, a miniature play acting out one of the legends involving the origin of taps. Denny Shaffner and Andrew Rothrock played the part of father and son in the American Civil War. The legend went that a man was at a fire one night during the war when he heard someone scream out for help. After searching in the darkness he found a Confederate soldier.
The soldier was dead by that point and turned out to have been his son who had been studying music in the south when the war had broken out. Being a soldier of the opposing army, the father wasn’t allowed to give his son an official funeral, but was allowed a bugler. The father asked the bugler to play some music, taps, that he had found in his son’s pocket as he buried his son himself.
“It’s just a feeling that the kids can see there is more than just the war,” said Master Sgt. John Butler before the presentation.
Others such as recruiter and Staff Sgt. John Steiner also expressed their appreciation to the school for inviting them in on Veterans’ Day.
According to Steiner Clearfield County, with its 12,000 veterans, is often appreciative of servicemen. Wearing his uniform every day, Steiner said that he usually receives five to six thank-you’s a day.
“In Clearfield County it’s Veterans Day every day,” said Steiner.