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Belpre Elementary honors veterans

A silhouette of a soldier kneeling in front of a sign with “Hero” in the background was part of the Belpre Elementary School Veterans Day program. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

BELPRE — Unable to hold their annual Veterans Day assembly inside Belpre Elementary School on Wednesday, students and faculty still showed their appreciation to veterans by decorating the school and offering a Veterans Day drive-thru Thursday evening.

On display was artwork done by the students and a slide show of students showing their appreciation to veterans. The display also featured silhouettes of soldiers as well, including one saluting in front of an American flag made by students.

The annual assembly is one of the most favorite events at Belpre for both students and faculty, according to principal Lauren Keeling.

“Here at Belpre Elementary School, one of our most favorite events every year is our Veterans Day assembly,” she said. “We look forward to it, it’s a great opportunity for us to connect with the community and it is just one of our most favorite moments. I’m so proud of the work that our staff and our students have done to put this together and just an opportunity to really show how much we care about all of our veterans, the people who have served, and honor them in a way that lifts them up and lets them know that Belpre Elementary School loves them and appreciates them,” Keeling said.

The idea of a drive-thru came from the Belpre school’s special teams of music teacher Robin White, art teacher Margaret Orcutt, and physical education Joey Rodgers. The trio started the process a couple of months ago, spending the last two weeks getting everything in place for Thursday.

“We started planning a couple of months ago to plan what we were going to do and then and it just continually evolves over time with it,” White said. “Luckily, we have a nice connection to borrow the lights and things like that. We’ve used the gym the past couple of years, then we had to take time to do the artwork and make the signs for the kids to hold in the slideshow and take the picture.”

While White and everyone else at Belpre Elementary wanted to host the assembly like normal but were unable due to COVID-19 protocols, he is proud of what everyone at Belpre was able to produce given the circumstances.

“This is the first kind of big thing we’ve been able to do this school year. This is something that the entire staff and student body looks forward to every year is this day. It’s a meaningful day, and especially in light of everything that’s going on in our country,” White said. “I think this year it has even more of a meaning and we do wish that the students could be here too, but they’re here in spirit with us.”

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