FRANKLIN GROVE — On Friday, AFC Elementary School in Franklin Grove hosted its annual Veterans Day assembly.
The assembly included a program that featured 50 student speakers from grades third through sixth, posting of the colors by a local boy scout troop, many patriotic songs sung by students, a special flag recipe, the recognition of veterans in attendance and the playing of Taps.
A slideshow with pictures of veteran relatives of students was featured and the event was live streamed to the community on Facebook.
Students in fourth through sixth grade participated in a contest to have their artwork featured as the assembly’s program cover. Fifth grade winners were Archie Horner, Siarrah Merritt, Tessa Ellis and Liam Halfacre. Sixth grade winners were Angel White and Samantha James.
Members of the Lee County Honor Flight Committee made a presentation on their cause of sending area veterans to Washington DC free of charge. AFCES is in the process of raising money for the committee to help with a future flight and will be taking donations through Nov. 30. If you’d like to send in a donation, you can drop it off, send it with your child or mail it to AFCES at 217 S. Elm St., Franklin Grove, IL 61031.
AFCES has already raised $439.08 for a donation this year and has donated over $8,000 since 2018. An honor flight previously cost $80,000 to send one flight of veterans and the cost has risen to $125,000. Help and support is needed, AFCES’s Debbie Bay, who runs the school’s Veterans Day program, said.
“We're looking for more World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War-era veterans to go on the flight,” Lee County Honor Flight Committee Chairman Tom Bushman said. “We've expanded to surrounding counties to try to get all the veterans to go. We're taking applications for guardians to accompany the veterans.
To conclude the program, kindergartners presented each veteran in attendance with a gift. Students and staff made drawings, cards, letters and more for veterans.
“We hope you understand we are trying to teach patriotism to our kids,” Bay said. “We love all of you and all of the service you have given to us. We are indebted to you."