Newton, Rockdale schools host Veterans Day events

COVINGTON — There will be numerous opportunities to honor veterans Monday in Rockdale and Newton counties.

A regional Veterans Day observance is set for 3 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at The Walk of Heroes Veterans Memorial in Rockdale County. The observance includes a display of military vehicles, solders’ uniforms and equipment. Collectors will have five different vehicles on display, from trucks to tank-like personnel transporters. Another display will feature soldier uniforms from every branch of the military.

A patriotic concert will take place at 5:15 p.m. presented by Belmont Baptist Church choir. At 6 p.m. Dick Caillouet, an F-4 jet fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, who also served in Korea and Germany, will give the keynote address. He is the state coordinator for the Wounded Warrior Foundation, a nonprofit that assists injured service members in adjusting back to daily life when they return home from combat.

The Walk of Heroes at Veterans Memorial Park is located at Black Shoals Park, 3001 Black Sholas Road off Bethel Road in north Rockdale County.

Area students will also honor those who have served in the military this week with a number of tributes on Veterans Day.

Each year, schools in Newton County hold special events in honor of Veterans Day and this year is no different.

“Veterans Day is a very important day for Newton County Schools,” said Sherri Davis-Viniard, public relations director for the Newton County School System. “Our students and employees are very patriotic and each year they plan numerous events to commemorate Veterans Day and salute all those who have served in the U.S. Military.”

Some of the schools are providing breakfast for veterans, others will have veterans speak to various classes for presentations and discussions and numerous special musical events are planned throughout the county.

“It’s a very moving day in our schools — one that our students and staff don’t ever forget,” Davis-Viniard said.

Some of Veterans Day events in Newton County are as follows:

• Alcovy High School — The Alcovy Tiger Chorus will present a Veterans Day Concert, “A Salute to America” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the school’s auditorium.

• Clements Middle School — Ret. 1st Sgt. Lynn Goodrich will speak to sixth-grade social studies classes at Clements Middle School from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. During his service in the military, he was deployed to Vietnam with the U.S. Navy and to Afghanistan and Iraq with the Army National Guard.

• Cousins Middle School — Cousins Middle School will hold its annual Veterans Day Ceremony beginning at 9:15 a.m. After some opening remarks and a moment of silence, the school band will play “Taps,” followed by other patriotic songs presented by the band and chorus.

Throughout the day, the names of current and past service personnel who are connected to members of Cousins Middle School’s faculty, staff and students will be read aloud throughout the day by students, teachers, parents and other special guests.

• Mansfield Elementary School — Students at Mansfield Elementary School will have breakfast with veterans Monday morning and then walk to nearby Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Cemetery to place flags on the graves of all veterans.

• Middle Ridge Elementary School — For the fifth year, Ret. U.S. Navy Officer Bill Jarrell will speak to second-grade students at Middle Ridge about how he was recruited to the military, describe his tours of service and discuss the importance of discipline in serving one’s country. Jarrell will bring in his uniforms, medals and photos from his service for the students to view.

In Rockdale County, Veterans Day got off to an early start at Barksdale Elementary School.

On Friday afternoon, the entire school gathered to sing patriotic songs to more than 20 veterans who gathered there.