Patrick encourages CMS to emulate veterans

Published 3:46 pm Friday, November 9, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

Clanton Middle School observed Veterans Day on Nov. 9 with patriotic songs and hearing from retired U.S. Air Force 1st Sgt. Robert Patrick.

“Today … we honor those who honored our country by their service,” Patrick said. “… We owe them our thanks. We owe them our freedom.”

He said being a veteran did not just mean serving in the military but remaining an example for others to follow after their service is completed.

The unity that military personnel show in service and in battle is something that each American should work toward, Patrick said.

“When we had the first Gulf War, the lights went out just before they bombed that night,” Patrick said. “We was living in a tent city and in complete darkness, an airman knocked on my tent, came in and said, ‘I’m scared.’”

After a few minutes, his tent was full of airmen all of them talking about how they were scared. Patrick said he was, too.

“We prayed, and we got ready to go to war,” Patrick said. “You know one of the things I noticed in all our praying, in all of the things we did that night. We never saw color … We were American, and we were there to do a job. We didn’t care where you came from or what color you was. We were fighting for freedom, and we were fighting for people we didn’t even know.”

Although it was not that way when he returned to the United States, Patrick said today things have come a long way.

“Look at us now, we can sit here tonight (all different colors),” Patrick said.

He said it is important for the students to develop their own values to live by.

“The veterans set the stage for us,” Patrick said. “They know how to fight as a team. They do everything as a team.”

He said Veterans Day should never be just about having a day off from work or sales at stores .

“It is a day that should be somewhat a solemn day … to reflect and pray,” Patrick said.

He said this is a good way to honor veterans.

He told students to always respect veterans and thank them for their service.

Patrick also highlighted each of the national monuments in Washington D.C.