Union County, Blairsville, Georgia Holiday-Winter 2018-2019 - Page 19

Union County GA Magazine . Holiday & Winter 2018-19 . www.unioncountymag.com Page 19 Veterans Day 2018 at Woody Gap School in Suches Woody Gap School in Suches host By Norm Cooper a Veterans Day Celebration to honor Editor, Union County GA Magazine Veterans of the community. Each Veteran in attendance was their country, no matter the cost, even recognized by name and branch of if it meant giving up their life,” said service. They received a gift and a Pirkle. “That selfless act, that is what student-made card. were are here today to remember.” The speaker for 2018 was Woody Being a Veteran is not just about Gap graduate of the being in a war since all Class of 2005, Navy Veterans have not been to First Class Petty Officer war. Matthew Pirkle. He has “I can honestly tell you 14 medals, including that in the 13 months I was Navy-Marine Corp deployed, the worst part for Achievement Medals. me wasn’t the war itself. It PO Pirkle recalled was not rushing to the battle the day he made the stations with gas masks on choice to join the because we were getting military. He was a ready to face the enemy. It student at Woody Gap was not the unbearable when he learned about heat or long hours with no the terrorists attacks on sleep,” said Pirkle. “The PO Matthew Pirkle American soil. worst part was being away Pirkle’s grandfather was in the first from my family and from my son. That graduating class at Woody Gap and is something every Veteran can served in the United States Air Force. share.” “Veterans Day is a holiday to honor “Right now as we are gathered all who have here today, there are thousands of Cards by students served and soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and continue to guardsmen that are, as we call it in serve,” said the Navy, Standing The Watch,” said Pirkle. “In 1918 Pirkle. “And, they will be missing their the world was a family, their friends and their loved war and had ones back home.” been for years.” Pirkle encouraged Veterans to One hundred share their stories and encouraged years ago on the 11th day of the 11th others who have not served in the hour of the 11th month the countries military to seek out Veterans and ask at war signed an agreement to end them the share their stories. the war. “To the Veterans here today, thank “No one else had to be hurt, no you for your service and your one else had to die, our troops were sacrifice,” said Pirkle. Speaking to the coming home,” said Pirkle. school, he said, “Thank you for “I believe it is easy to hear the word choosing to honor the Veterans today Veteran and you paint the picture of and showing your support for our these men sitting here with us. You heroes. May God Bless our Veterans, think about men of age, old men, ripe may God Bless our Military, may God with age and wisdom, who served bless the students and faculty of many years ago. These men, at one Woody Gap High School, and I ask point, were very young men.” that God continues to bless the United Before they became men, they States of America.” joined the military because they had Woody Gap Principal Carol Knight honor and courage. “They had honor recognized many who contributed to and courage to stand up and defend the event. “Thank you students and www.LoganTurnpikeMill.com off Glenn Gooch Bypass See the Processing & visit Store George & Cecilia Holland, Owners The stage at Woody Gap School for Veterans Celebration Photos by Norm C Photos of Veterans on a hallway wall Plaques to remember teachers who have been preparing ways to honor our Veterans.” The ceremony is created “to ensure our students recognize and appreciate the sacrifices of our veterans and their families. We want to welcome our Veterans and their guest. We pray that the proceedings here today will accomplish our goal, letting you know your efforts are seen, appreciated and honored.” There was a Tribute to the Veterans. “Throughout the years, many men and women in this community have answered the Call to Duty to serve their country.” Students participated with a moment of silence to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, a prayer, the pledge to the flag, singing the National Anthem, a patriotic poem, playing patriotic songs, a history of the flag, and a slide show of Veterans. The Veterans Day Celebration, began in 2006, is coordinated by Althea Cantrell. “This was something I felt led to do for our community and school,” said Cantrell. “I felt our community had more than the usual number of veterans and felt we needed to honor them and teach our students to honor them and to remember that someone has sacrificed for our freedoms.” Woody Gap School has a long history of honoring Veterans. Veterans were allowed to finish their high school courses after they returned from WWII. In the auditorium, there are plaques on a dedicated wall of those who were part of the community who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Jerry L. Henderson 253 Hwy. 515 E Building 2. Suite A Blairsville, GA 30512 Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm Producing Fresh Ground Grains 255 Beasley Street Blairsville, GA Stage in Woody Gap Auditorium Grits / Flour / Cornmeal / Mixes Quailty STONE-GROUND Whole Grain Products 1-800-84-GRITS (800-844-7487) - Local: 706-745-5735 706-745-4401 Mail: P.O. Box 1308 Blairsville, GA 30514-1308