An ongoing tradition of honoring Hamilton's military heroes.
By Eve Duggins
It was 1954 when former President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Congressional bill that turned Armistice Day into Veteran’s Day, the holiday that Americans use to celebrate the brave soldiers who have dedicated their lives to serving their country.
Celebrations occur all throughout the country, highlighting the bravery of so many American citizens.
Here in Hamilton, it’s no diﬀerent. Kathy Wagonﬁeld, the principal of Ridgeway Elementary, makes sure every one of her students knows the importance of the holiday and encourages them to celebrate their local veterans. Every year since the school opened in 2009, Ridgeway students and staﬀ congregate to honor the veterans of their community, both living and deceased. Names of the deceased veterans of Ridgeway families are presented in a video shown in the Veteran’s Day assembly. Veterans in attendance to the assembly are encouraged to stand while their branch of service is being recognized so they too can be appreciated by all those in the crowd.
Students at Ridgeway massively contribute to this celebration, from creating decorations for the assembly to creating artwork, letters, and poetry that are dedicated to the veterans in Hamilton. According to Mrs. Wagonﬁeld, “Our entire school spends weeks prior to this event reading books and studying veterans/patriotism/freedom, etc. All 31 classrooms make decorations that adorn our entire stage/cafeteria area as well as our library.
Additionally students are asked to write (given various topics to choose from) and students from every grade level are chosen to read what they wrote at the ceremony”.
Seeing the dedication everyone at Ridgeway Elementary puts into this celebration of service is incredibly touching. Students and staﬀ alike creating such a respectful environment.