Area schools took time Monday to honor area veterans. Monday was Veterans Day.
At Paris Middle School, students and staff served lunch to veterans and members of their families. That was followed by an assembly at which veterans were recognized and the top entries in a program entitled Your Story, Our Freedom, were displayed or performed. Entries took the form of poems, essays, skits or multimedia presentations.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Arkansas, addressed veterans and their families at the lunch and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, spoke at the assembly. A representative of U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas, was also present and spoke to veterans, their families and school students. Also on hand were State Rep. Jon Eubanks, R-Paris, and Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers.
Before the lunch, Boozman said it was important for him to be present. The Paris event was the fourth veterans-related event he attended since Saturday.
"It’s important we honor veterans and people in the military," Boozman said, "and take time to reflect and honor their sacrifices.
"So few people are serving right now," Boozman said. "Many of these young people, their parents and family members haven’t served in the military. Events like this instill in our young people respect for military service."
Veterans attending the lunch echoed the themes mentioned by Boozeman.
"I got out of the military in 1975 and served in Vietnam," said Army veteran Glynn Davis of Paris. "Back then, if you were in the military or a Vietnam veteran, most young people didn’t want to have anything to do with you. Now, because of 9-11 and other factors, it’s totally different."
Jim Bell, an Army veteran from Paris, remembered a time he was wearing a POW-MIA shirt while on a trip to the mall.
"I was asked by a teenager if POW-MIA was a rock group," Bell said while eating a lunch of barbecue, cole slaw and baked beans. "Today, kids know what it means and it’s wonderful to see the kids getting an education about the wars and veterans. It’s a really good thing."
The Scranton and County Line School Districts also honored veterans and their families at separate events Monday.
The Scranton School District started its tribute to veterans with an assembly at 11 a.m. Following the assembly, area veterans and their families were served lunch at the American Legion building in Scranton.
The County Line School District held a veterans tribute assembly in the district’s auditorium Monday afternoon.
Monday morning, members of Chapter 39 of the Disabled American Veterans in Paris marked Veterans Day with a flag raising ceremony at the Logan County Courthouse in Paris.