Governor Mike Parson joined the students at Sparta High School Friday morning for a salute to veterans.
The event, which featured the Sparta high school band and combined junior/senior high school chorus, also welcomed dozens of veterans from the community for a special salute.
Governor Parson, an Army veteran, addressed the students about the importance of service, and pointed out that we should honor more than just the veterans themselves.
“We’re the ones who wear the uniforms, the ones who get honored all the time,” the Governor said. “But there’s also the wives, the moms and dads, the brothers and sisters that are all part of the family. It’s never about one individual. It’s truly about all of us.”
According to Governor Parson, over 480,000 veterans live in Missouri and the state ranks 15th in residents who are currently serving in the military.
“Which means one thing,” Parson said. “The citizens of this state understand patriotism. They understand service. They truly understand what it means to be a public servant.”
Parson was invited to the event by his granddaughter, who is a student at Sparta High School. The entire presentation was designed by the students at Sparta High School including a video production honoring graduates who served in the military.
In addition to the speech by the Governor, the event included the administration of the school district being honored by the military for being an outstanding supporter of the armed forces in allowing their staff to serve while still keeping their jobs at home waiting for when they return.
Matthew Hyde, an Army veteran who received a purple heart for service in Afghanistan in 2011, told OI that he thought the ceremony was a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about the men and women who have protected them.
“This is awesome,” Hyde said. “You hear so many horror stories about how they don’t teach kids anything good in school and then you get to come and see something good like this with your own eyes. It’s good to teach these young kids this kind of stuff.”