Encouraging patriotism in our youth

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 14, 2015

Patriotism is not in short supply in Pearl River County.

This past week, students at West Side Elementary in Picayune and the Middle School of Poplarville honored local veterans via musical performances from band and chorus members and narrated tributes to the nation’s military.

It’s truly refreshing to see youth recognizing and understanding the freedoms they have because of the brave men and women who served our country.

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Patriotism is something we need to continue to instill in our youth. We have so many rights in this country because of those veterans in our communities and we have to ensure our love for our country lives on for many generations by passing it along to our children.

During the Veterans Day program at West Side, around 25 to 30 veterans stood at the front of the auditorium with their branch’s flag when each military branch’s anthem played as the crowd roared in applause.

It was a truly special moment.

Seeing all those veterans standing united was a moving experience.

It also showcased how many veterans there are in this area.

In Pearl River County, there are 5,244 registered veterans, according to a 2014 summary of expenditures in Mississippi.

While Veterans Day has come and gone, we mustn’t stop acknowledging our veterans for what they’ve done for our country. We need to thank and appreciate veterans and active service members every day of the year.

Whether it’s a close relative, a neighbor or a coworker, a simple “thank you” goes a long way.

In the end, we’re all American citizens who need to stand united in order to ensure patriotism lives on.

We need to continue teaching our youth about history and about the people who’ve worked hard to ensure we have a safe place to call home.