Beatrice Middle School students recognized a veteran with a special quilt presentation during the school’s Veterans Day program on Friday.
The Quilt of Valor that was presented at the assembly to Mr. George E. Pinkerton was pieced together by Beatrice Middle Schools students during an afterschool activity sponsored by Jane Esau, Gage County 4-H, and Jan Smaus, Beatrice Middle School FCS teacher.
Students who helped make the quilt were Alex Brandley, Kinsey Crooks, Gracee Essink, Maddie Nielsen, Hanna Parde, Ava Rosenthal, Abby Trantham, Parker Witulski, Becky Zhu, Mickey Zhu and Lynsie Lancaster.
Pinkerton was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with one bronze service star and the United National Service Medal.
“I think that our message hit the nail on the head with respect and honor, and I think it is important to teach our students to show gratitude as we celebrate Veterans Day each year,” said Mr. John Jarosh, Beatrice Middle School principal.
Pinkerton served ten months and seven days overseas as an Infantry Company Executive Officer and was second in command.
“Mr. Pinkerton, we honor you for your service,” said student Kinsey Crooks. “We honor you for leaving your family and home. We have freedom because of you and the dedication of men and women like you. This quilt is meant to say thank you for your sacrifice, to be a comfort to you. Please know that your family, friends, community and country appreciate what you have done.”
The event began with Legion Post #27 Color Guard posting the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance. Emmy Hoefer, Makenna Blum, Nolan Marlatt and Autumn Bartlett then sang the National Anthem.
Armistice Day, or Veterans Day as it became known in 1954, marks the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning —the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.
A formal peace agreement was only reached when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.
“This Veterans Day is special for all of us because on Sunday we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of this date and the recognition of the honorable men and women who have served and sacrificed for our great country, the United States of America,” said BMS student Avery Barnard.
The Kensington Chimers performed “America the Beautiful,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “God Bless America” with bells. Trudy Spicer, activities coordinator, said eleven Veterans currently live at the Kensington.
Don Vetrovsky spoke to the students as a veteran. Vetrovsky served from 1970-76 in the Army National Guard in Beatrice.
“I am honored to be a part of a group of men and women at the Veterans Club that took an oath to make the ultimate sacrifice of our life if needed,” said Vetrovsky. “Freedom is not free. I feel it is my duty to teach about honor and respect. Be proud and don’t take for granted the people who served to defend that freedom. Be sure to thank them for their service.
“Respect our flag. It may be battered and tattered from waving during the Revolution, through the Civil War and all the other wars, but it is still standing.”