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VPE chorus treks to park for Veterans Day performance

While schools across the district mark Veterans Day each fall, the occasion means a little bit more to one elementary on the south side of Lexington. “We are Veterans Park, so it’s pride in who the school is named for. We want the students to always appreciate the name of our school and the heroes our school represents,” said music teacher and choir director Johnnie Bishop.

Bishop led members of VPE’s intermediate chorus, made up of some 75 fourth and fifth graders, on a community service field trip Nov. 11 to nearby Veterans Park. There, the students participated in the city’s annual Veterans Day program – singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” a tribute to the five branches of military service, and the kid-favorite “Fifty Nifty United States.” Later at school, students gathered in the gym for three grade-level celebrations featuring those songs, “Yankee Doodle,” and “You’re A Grand Old Flag.” Bishop planned to put together a video to share with area nursing homes, veterans’ centers, and the students’ families, who could not attend this year because of COVID-19 precautions.

Congressman Andy Barr speaks at the podium with remembrance garden in the foreground, monument behind him, and tank on left  On the way to the park, Bishop had paused to explain the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument as the parade of students approached on foot. During the hour-long event, they also heard themes of patriotism and gratitude from DAR representatives, Mayor Linda Gorton, Congressman Andy Barr, and Brig. Gen. Benjamin Adams. “I just think it’s so valuable to focus on celebrating, respecting, and valuing our history,” said LFUCG council member Susan Lamb, who organized the program.

Around Veterans Day, the topic often comes up around the dinner table at home, too. “Our veterans are our heroes. They are our heroes that live in our neighborhood. They’re people we meet and see on a daily basis,” Bishop said. “Students may learn they have family members and family friends who have served in the military. It brings an awareness of the everyday heroes in their lives and what they have done to protect our freedom.”

intermediate chorus from Veterans Park Elementary in a group shot at the park

(Posted Nov. 11, 2021)

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