Schools Honor Veterans & Service Members

The Ste. Genevieve County R-II School District honors veterans, active military and their guests at both the Ste. Genevieve and Bloomsdale campuses in recognition of Veterans Day.

Ste. Genevieve Elementary held its program on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Performing Arts Center, and Bloomsdale Elementary held its program on Monday, Nov. 13. The high school and middle school Veterans Day Tribute ceremony was held on Thursday, Nov. 9  at the high school. All local veterans were welcome, and students personally invited veterans as their guests, as well. At both elementary schools, each grade level had the opportunity to participate!

At Bloomsdale Elementary’s assembly, veterans were invited for donuts and coffee prior to the assembly. Fifth grade students hosted the event and led the traditional White Table Ceremony, and the other grade levels took part through leading the Pledge of Allegiance, presenting veterans with a rose, and performing songs such as “We Remember” by John Jacobson and “God Bless America.” Fourth grader Stevie Wolk recited the poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae during World War I. Each veteran was introduced, and the students presented them with a rose. As veterans left the assembly, students handed out their Buddy Poppies.

At Ste. Genevieve Elementary’s assembly, fifth grader Rain Hampton sang the National Anthem. Fifth grade students hosted the event and led the traditional White Table Ceremony. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the winners of the SGE Veterans Day art contest. Kindergarten students led the Poppy Pledge, first grade students performed the poem “Thank You, Veterans,” third grade students created a video thanking veterans for their service, and fourth grade students led the recognition of veterans and military members. To wrap up the assembly, grades second through fifth sang a special collaboration of the song, “American Tears.” 

Leading up to Veterans Day, several SGMS students took the time to craft thank you notes for a few of our local veterans who were invited on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Honor Flights are an opportunity to honor and thank Veterans and those in the service by bringing them to the nation's capital to see the memorials that commemorate their service.

Ste. Genevieve High School, Ste. Genevieve Middle School, and Valle Catholic hosted a luncheon for veterans prepared with contributions from local business sponsors mentioned below. Following the luncheon, the Veterans Day Parade began at the American Legion and wound through downtown past Valle, Ste. Genevieve Middle School, Ste. Genevieve Elementary and back behind Ste. Genevieve High School. Small American flags lined the parade route, where middle school students in the National Junior Honor Society had placed them, to honor members of the military, both current and retired, who protect our freedoms. Students and staff at the schools waved banners and flags during the parade to thank our veterans for their service.

The Veterans Day Tribute held in the Peggy J. Johnson Gymnasium included:

  • Opening remarks by student hosts Adriana Bennett and Ava Greer;

  • A presentation of the colors by VFW Post 2210 Color Guard;

  • A performance of the National Anthem by the Ste. Genevieve High School Chorale;

  • The pledge of allegiance by SGHS seniors Kaden Smith and Kaleb Wilson, who graduated from Basic Training this summer and will be stationed in the U.S. Army after graduation this spring;

  • Member of the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum Board of Directors Scott Readnour, who was introduced by Board of Education President David Bova;

  • A recognition of: all veterans in attendance, local distinguished veterans who have recently passed away, SGHS alumni in Active Duty, and students planning to enlist;

  • A performance of “God Bless America” by the SGMS Middle School Band;

  • Graphics and videos created by the SGHS Broadcast Team and Dragon’s Lair Productions students featuring clips from students and SG R-II alumni service members stationed around the world;

  • A speech by senior Nathan Johnson, the son of Retired Staff Sergeant Scott Johnson of the United States Army;

  • A performance of “A Tribute to the Armed Services” by the Ste. Genevieve High School Chorale; and

  • SGHS Band student Hollyn Zangaro’s performance of “Taps” and a three-gun volley in memory of veterans who have died.

The Ste. Genevieve County R-II School District has achieved POW-MIA campus status in partnership with the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum. This designation was proposed to the Board of Education by Dr. Rhett Oldham, who reached out to the museum to launch this collaboration. The District is appreciative to Dr. Oldham for his initiative to undertake this project, and is extremely excited to be collaborating with the Jefferson Barracks POW/MIA Museum to raise awareness of the POW/MIAs who have proudly served and fought for our freedoms.

Mr. Readnour took the time to attend the assembly and speak to the importance of this work, as well as present the district with a certificate during the assembly. 

“Our goal is to make sure that no one is forgotten, that no one is left behind,” he said. “There are more than 82,000 service men and women who are still missing in action. Our work is to honor them, educate others about their stories, and hopefully bring them home if we can.”

SGHS would like to thank the following sponsors and vendors: Eleven Eleven Catering, Eric Scott Leather, Jodie Flieg, Edward Jones- Matt Trautman, Sons of American Legion, Environmental Products, Inc., Superior Roofing Strategies, SGHS Basketball, Country Mart, Buy the Bunch, and the Anvil Saloon.

We would also like to thank the following: the Veterans of Foreign War Post 2210 Color Guard; Mrs. Lois Flieg and Mrs. Sharon Giesler from the VFW Post 2210 Auxiliary; Scott Readnour from the Jefferson Barracks MIA/POW Museum; Board of Education President David Bova; High School Principal Dr. John Boyd, Jr.; senior Nathan Johnson; all of our alumni who are serving active duty; our high school seniors who are enlisted or plan to enlist; all of the veterans and their spouses for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend the ceremony; the choirs and the bands for their contributions; the Student Veterans Committee for the planning of the day’s events; the students and staff for their attention and participation in the program; Dragon’s Lair Productions, the SGHS Broadcasting Team, SGHS School Development Seminar, Valle Catholic Schools, NJHS, SGHS Boys & Girls Basketball Programs, and the Student Councils from both SG R-II and Valle Catholic for planning and executing the 2023 Veterans Day Tribute, the Parade of Veterans, and the Veteran Luncheon.

We would also like to extend a very special Thank You to American Legion Post 150 Commander, Virgil Boyer. Mr. Boyer has been a tremendous Friend of Education and has been integral in creating a bridge between our community Veterans and all of the students in our community.