Barryton veterans celebrate Veterans Day with local children

BARRYTON — Preschool through fourth-grade children entered the Barryton Elementary School gym on Friday, they were greeted by several local veterans and an array of American flags. While administrators quieted the children, the Barryton American Legion Post No. 473 opened its annual Veterans Day ceremony.

SERVICE: Paul Mackersie (far left) shares some of his experiences while serving in the military with students at Barryton Elementary School on Friday. Mackersie recently retired and joined the Barryton American Legion Post No. 473, which put on the assembly. (Pioneer photo/Kyle Leppek)

After the Pledge of Allegiance and a poem read by a student, commander Bob Heyart opened the ceremony.

HOMELAND: Gus Limbo, a veteran and Native American, shared his heritage with Barryton Elementary School students. Although Veterans Day is about freedom for Limbo, it also is about protecting and serving his native land, he said. (Pioneer photo/Kyle Leppek)

Heyart presented past versions of the American flag and explained the history and importance of each flag. The flags spanned from 1775 to our current flag and included the POW-MIA flag.

The ceremony began after Bud Hanline was elected captain of the post. Although the children are young, the post hopes to explain the importance of military service and what it means to be a veteran.

“… These kids need to know what their (family members) have gone through to have the freedom that we have,” Hanline said.

Paul Mackersie recently retired from service. For him, the meaning of Veterans Day hasn’t changed since he retired but joining the post has helped him remember service members always remain a family.

During the ceremony, Gus Limbo, a veteran and Native American, shared his heritage with the children. Although

Veterans Day is about freedom for Limbo, it also is about protecting and serving his native land, he said.

Before the ceremony ended, the children stood and sang “God Bless the USA” for the veterans. As the children left the gym and were given a pencil by the veterans, some thanked them for their service. It’s the children’s gratitude that makes the ceremony worth while for the post.

“The way the kids react to you and thank you and shake your hands, it’s a great feeling to know you have done something to make them aware of the freedoms we have,” Hanline said.

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from the Veterans Day ceremony.

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