ADM Middle School honors veterans with a Veterans Day parade
COVID-19 may have canceled several events over the last few months but it was not about to cancel the Veterans Day festivities at ADM Middle School on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
An important tradition to the ADM community, the annual day-long festivities happened once again for middle schoolers.
"We have strongly celebrated Veterans Day for a long time," began ADM Middle School Principal Kim Timmerman. "For students in middle school, it's such a great age to strongly learn about Veterans Day and all that they've gone through. Kids can relate and understand what veterans have gone through. It benefits students, staff and veterans alike so it was important to us to keep this going."
Instead of canceling this year's Veterans Day event, the middle school pushed on and students were still able to experience the day-long festivities, just in a different way.
"We have a Veterans Day committee that met back in August and we came with the mindset that we'll still honor veterans on Veterans Day," Timmerman said. "No matter what this was important enough that we'd devote the whole day. With that, we knew major changes had to take place so we've gone outside the box with pre-recorded videos and online speakers. Normally we'd have the veterans here but this time we had to go more virtual."
The effort to keep the Veterans Day festivities going at ADM Middle School also resulted in a parade where veterans drove down Tiger Drive as students waved and thanked them for their service. Each veteran was also given a goodie bag and decorations made by the middle school students.
"The ADM Middle School staff do a fabulous job in the observation of Veterans Day," said ADM'S Christopher Hatchitt. "It really means a lot to continue this and continue to have veterans speak about their stories. I'm very honored and proud that ADM does this as not many around the area do. I'm also very happy that they've adapted to make this possible for all the veterans because it is such a special day."
Hatchitt took part remotely but still engaged the students with recorded videos of various calisthenic drills.
There were also various veteran speakers, including Richard Beechum, Josh Jorgenson, Tom Stauffer, Tim Smith, Wayne Reisetter and Kevin Reisetter who spoke and answered questions from students. Among the events included Trisha Waterman, a spouse of an active-duty soldier, who spoke about what it is like with a family member serving our country.
"That's amazing and it shows just how well ADM thinks outside the box to show what does a family member feels and how do they go through the experience with a loved one deployed," said Hatchitt. "To get that perspective broadens the scope for these students and widens their own perspective. The kids don't get many chances to hear about what it was like in different generations and for ADM to do this for the students is just amazing."
The love and appreciation were shared across the veterans who took part in the parade, including ADM's own mayor Jim Peters.
"It means that the community, the school the administration teachers and students recognize it's Veterans Day and that it was still important," Peters said. "There's a culture in this school of patriotism and recognizing the flag, recognizing veterans and military service. This is one way the school allows these students to demonstrate that appreciation. Veterans really appreciate the gesture."