By SHERRY DIGMON
Escambia County High School Future Business Leaders of America put together the annual Veterans Day program Thursday, November 9.
The program was student led, with Ariyana Young giving the invocation and singing the National Anthem. Iyriel Munlyn and Deangelo Richardson led the Pledge of Allegiance. Iyriel also presented the welcome.
Na’Asia Reynolds, Stephen Williams, and A’Azia Nelson gave a history of Veterans Day. Imari Lemon recited a poem – “A Soldier’s Dream.” Chloe Dawson presented Land of the Free.
Members of the ECHS band – Brandon Bartley, Jaquavious Bush, Ashley Parra, Carlos Respress, Trinity Riley, Jontavious Richard, and Rihanna Williams – played The Star Spangled Banner.
Tevin McClain and Essence Martin performed a touching skit – “Hidden Lessons.”
Na’Asia Reynolds introduced the two guest speakers.
“We have the honor of having two veterans on our staff,” she said as she introduced TSGT Layton Knight and Sgt. Stephanie Buitron.
“Everybody in this room has the choice to do what they want to do,” Knight said. “I put my life on the line for you to have choices … Nobody has freedom like you have.”
Speaking of his three deployments, Knight said, “[They] don’t like that flag. They will sacrifice a three- or four-year-old … Respect the flag.”
Buitron has served in two branches of the military.
“We as a family have always believed in serving our country,” she said. “ … You students have the mentality ‘it’s about me.’ I learned early, it’s not about me. It’s about serving others …
“Think before you act. Think about the privileges you have that people in other countries don’t have, that people in this country don’t have.”
Student Janae Dillard led in veteran recognition. Latabitha Burt read A Poem of Thanks.
Nykera Johnson, Trinity Riley and Iyriel Munlyn closed with Taps.
ECHS Principal Kike Pettaway asked all veteran in attendance to go to the stage for recognition.
Following the program, Thanksgiving lunch was served to all who would stay.