On Tuesday, November 11, the Upper Scioto Valley students, faculty and staff joined together to honor their community veterans. Local veterans were treated to a breakfast of biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon and fried apples donated by the 235 Grill of Alger in conjunction with an anonymous donation from the community. Students in the elementary classes of Mrs. Beard, Mrs. Clum, Mrs. Lowery, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Vanhoose, and Mrs. Wilcox made placemats, decorations, a thank you banner as well as individual flag-shaped thank you cards for the veterans. The National Honor Society members also made flag lapel pins as appreciation gifts for the veterans. Following breakfast, there was a school-wide assembly which included musical selections by the USV 7-12 band, original poetry by 8th grader Shyanne Howard and patriotic essays delivered by seniors Spencer Holbrook and Alexis Jordan. The faculty address was given by Ben Kretz, a first year teacher at USV who has grown up a in a military family. Mr. Kretz told about the life of Freddie Knowller, an Austrian Jew who were living in Belgium during WWII. Knowller and his brother had each escaped the Nazis, Freddie fleeing to France and joining the French Resistance while his brother was able to flee to the U.S. where he enlisted in the United States Army. Freddie was caught in France, arrested and sent to Auschwitz where he remained for nearly two years to endure the horrors of the concentration camp until the liberation. When the U.S. Army reached Auschwitz, Freddie said a uniformed American soldier “was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.” For in Freddie’s eyes, the uniform of the U.S. Army signified hope, freedom, and a new beginning. Mr. Kretz explained that often Americans forget and take for granted our freedom. We must remember that the sacrifices of our soldiers and veterans guarantee that we experience the beauties of freedom. Mr. Kretz concluded by reminding the students that though one can agree or disagree with the war, we must always support the soldiers and veterans. Each veteran in attendance was individually recognized for their service, as well as those actively serving, and a moment of silence was held before junior Crystal Brown played “Taps”. The assembly ended with the USV band playing “God Bless America” and blessed were we all to be in the company of such fine men and women.