Submitted by Claire Hogan, Columbus, Ohio

Idea posted December 3, 2010

Last year for Veterans Day, I was asked to put together a much more substantial program than the usual two songs that my choir performs. The following script and songs are what I developed for our school-wide assembly, and they were quite a hit.

Honoring Our Country and Our Veterans

United we stand, steadfast and tall,
Committed to peace and freedom for all.

For times like these that try our souls
Can renew our faith in ourselves and our goals.

Let's open our hearts as proud banners wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

SONG: The Star-Spangled Banner (from Music K-8, Vol. 10, No. 5)

Read "Stars and Stripes" by Danny Barbare

SONG: America (My Country 'Tis Of Thee) (from Music K-8, Vol. 7, No. 5)

Katharine Lee Bates, poet and English teacher, wrote the poem that would become the song, "America The Beautiful," during a trip to Colorado in the summer of 1893. Bates recalled the experience that was her inspiration for the poem in a diary saying:

"One day, some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with sea-like expanse."

SONG: America The Beautiful (from Music K-8, Vol. 4, No. 1)

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I. The end of the war happened at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, so that's why November 11th was chosen.

Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day, a legal holiday in the United States, honors all who served in the nation's armed forces, living or dead.

SONG: Proud Of Our Veterans (from Music K-8, Vol. 14, No. 2)

Read "The Eleventh Hour" by Mir Tamim Ansary

SONG: American Tears (from Music K-8, Vol. 13, No. 1)

Read "Take A Moment to Thank A Veteran" by Joanna Fuchs

SONG: Thank A Vet (from Music K-8, Vol. 19, No. 2)