CCA recognizes veterans at service

Students of Chilton Christian Academy stand alongside veterans that they invited to attend the Veterans Day chapel service at the school on Wednesday. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

Students of Chilton Christian Academy stand alongside veterans that they invited to attend the Veterans Day chapel service at the school on Wednesday. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

Chilton Christian Academy held its annual Veterans Day chapel service on Wednesday.

The ceremony has been taking place for about eight years, but a new aspect for this year was that Students were given the opportunity to invite veterans that they knew, which could include family, friends or fellow churchgoers.

According to Chilton Christian Principal Charles Gottshall, the purpose of the service each year is to honor those who served, while educating students about their sacrifice.

“I don’t think that we meaningfully disrespect them, but I believe that we have a tendency to take it for granted,” Gottshall said.

Several students had parts and readings throughout the service, such as Haley and Hannah Bolton who opened the program with the singing of the National Anthem and the elementary choir, which sang the songs from each branch of the armed forces.

“We’re a Christian school and we believe strongly in our nation’s heritage,” Gottshall said. “We felt like it would be good to recognize that.”

Kimberly Hagler speaks to the crowd about the origin of Veterans Day.

Kimberly Hagler speaks to the crowd about the origin of Veterans Day.

This year’s guest speaker was Jerry Grooms who graduated from Wetumpka High School and served in the Air Force from 1970 to 1974. He is currently the Commander of American Legion Post 6 in Clanton.

Grooms explained his story to those in attendance about how he was sent to San Antonio for eight weeks of boot camp shortly after being drafted.

“The farthest I had ever been from home was Panama City, Fla.,” Grooms said. “Suddenly I was in Texas.”

He advised the students to one day visit the changing of the guard process that takes place at “The Tomb of the Unknown” in Washington D.C., as well as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

“On that wall are nine of my best friends,” Grooms said. “Remember your veterans, because they are a special group. The red, white and blue stands for a lot of things, which include honor and sacrifice.”

The service was the first of several Veterans Day programs that are scheduled to take place throughout Chilton County in the next couple of days.

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