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Mill Creeks holds Veterans Day Parade
Korean War veteran William Patterson, 80, spends a moment with great-granddaughter Yami Patterson, 6, after Friday's Mill Creek Elementary School Veterans Day parade.
    Mill Creek Elementary School was awash in red, white and blue as about 50 veterans showed up to watch the students and faculty march in its annual Veterans Day parade.    Principal Trey Robertson said they took about a week and half to prepare all the events and music for the parade.
    "Every child in the school had the opportunity to be a part of this parade - it's what makes it special," said Robertson. " Over the last two weeks, to build up our citizenship, we talked about Veterans Day and why we celebrate Veterans Day."
    Ray Hendrix, a member of the Army 48th Brigade, said, "I just wish us grown people could organize a parade like this and have a good turnout for it."
    He also wanted to remind people of the Veterans Day activities at the Averitt Center for the Arts being held on Monday. There will be a observance ceremony at 10:30 a.m. with keynote speaker Captain Stacy Hayes, a USMC helicopter pilot.  At 2 p.m. there will be a 90-minute documentary entitled "Lest They be Forgotten" showed at the Emma Kelly Theater. Both events are free and open to the general public.
    Bill Collins, one of the veterans in attendance, was a member of the Air Force and Air National Guard.
    "The parade was great. [The children] always do a fantastic job," said Collins. "I'm looking forward to hot dogs and apple pie."
    Bobby Roper, Javier Molina and Aleisha Michael are all members of Janice Love's class. Love - who was out for much of the fall semester after undergoing kidney transplant surgery - returned Monday just in time to participate in the event. Her students all said they were happy to have her back and that they had fun participating in the parade.
    "It was good," they all chimed in at once.
    Since each grade level sings its own song or chant, Robertson said it takes a lot of coordination between the grade level teachers, as well as the music teacher and physical education teachers.
    "The best part, though, is the veterans really like it," Robertson said. "They love to see the kids come out, learn about what they have done and to say 'thank you' to them."
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