Barry Johns of the Veterans Service Commission Office presents Stephanie Renner, teacher and coordinator of the Veterans Day program at Lincolnview, with a plaque of appreciation. The school was also awarded a plaque. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Barry Johns of the Veterans Service Commission Office presents Stephanie Renner, teacher and coordinator of the Veterans Day program at Lincolnview, with a plaque of appreciation. The school was also awarded a plaque. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

MIDDLE POINT – For the past several years Lincolnview Local Schools has held a massive veterans program for Veterans Day to honor those who severed and are currently serving, and this year, on Friday afternoon, they continued the tradition.

Seven year ago the program was started by Stephanie Renner, a teacher at the school.

“My hope is that it would teach the students to have pride in the country, but also to appreciate our veterans,” said Renner. “I don’t know that a lot of them understand just how important our veterans are to our country.”

Renner was inspired by her grandparents Vernon Kill, who earned two purple hearts in World War II, and Richard Gehres, who served in the Navy in World War II.

“I never got to meet my grandpa Kill; he died before I was born,” said Renner. “But my grandpa Gehres was my inspiration. I wanted to do this the year that he passed away, that Memorial Day.”

Renner was honored during the ceremony by Barry Johns of the Veterans Service Commission Office who gave her a plaque of appreciation for coordinating the ceremony each year. Johns also presented Lincolnview school with a plaque of appreciation for holding the ceremony.

In total, almost 90 veterans were in attendance. Each received a certificate as their name was read aloud.

Lincolnview also remembered those veterans that have died.

The program began with the presentation of colors and followed with the elementary students singing the National Anthem.

Sixth grade teacher and Washington D.C. advisor Chad Kraner spoke about an experience he had in 2015 while visiting the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. He found a note left behind by a man named Larry Moore. Moore wrote to a fallen comrade whose name was listed on the wall.

Kraner shared what that experience meant to him and how it led him to reach out to Moore. Kraner shared a video of Moore who spoke about his friends who had fallen in Vietnam and what it is like to live after returning home from war.

The ceremony concluded with refreshments and snacks for veterans and students of veterans.

“We should all feel a sense of gratitude because someone we may have not met decided to become part of our nation’s military,” said Renner during the ceremony. “They often go without luxuries that we take for granted every day. They leave their families, jobs, friends, and life behind to fight for our freedom.”