BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Wayne Trail Elementary fourth- and fifth-graders had the opportunity to honor the veterans in their lives with a ceremony on Veterans Day.
The students and their family members walked from the elementary school to the Performing Arts Center at MHS, where they were treated to speeches, musical performances and more.
Staff Sgt. Tyler Woda, a recruiter with the military, spoke to those in attendance and explained the importance of recognizing and honoring military veterans.
“To all the veterans that are here, thank you for your service,” Woda said during his speech. “I know that I can’t stand here and do what I do if it weren’t for all you in the path that you made with your blood, sweat and tears.”
Woda said he had wanted to serve since he was child after witnessing the September 11, 2001 attacks on the television in his classroom.
To serve requires sacrifice, he told the students, and he discussed the sacrifices veterans make in their daily lives to carry out the job. He told them it means missing holidays and birthdays, but it’s a job he wanted and chose without regret.
“It takes brave young men and women to stand up and protect this country,” Woda said.
Wayne Trail principal Nick Neiderhouse also thanked the staff and students who organized the day’s program, Maumee City Schools staff who are veterans and the additional veterans in attendance.
“Thank you. Because of your sacrifices, we have safety, freedom and opportunity,” Neiderhouse said. “We have the opportunity to learn in a safe learning environment because of your service to our country.”
Following the program, students joined the veterans and enjoyed donuts together, along with a slideshow and photo booth before returning to the school.