By Todd Martin
Special to the Hood Herald
During Cedar Valley Elementary School's tribute to veterans Nov. 10, an investigator's search for heroes ended with the soldiers seated together in the school cafeteria.
Fourth-grader Justin Powell, dressed as an investigator, and Isabelle Young dressed as his assistant, searched with a magnifying glass for a hero as the choir behind them discussed heroes during a school skit.
Someone in the choir mentioned veterans and explained that the strange word refers to people who serve in the armed forces.
They don't have to go to war, they can be men or women and they can serve in any of the military service branches, students pointed out during the skit performed the day before Veterans Day.
Six of the fourth-graders dressed in uniforms representing the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World War I, World War II and the current service era.
The student dressed in World War I attire explained that an unidentified American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, beginning a memorial at the time the war ended at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.
The memorial became Armistice Day commemorating the cessation of hostilities.
After each section of the skit, the chorus chanted: "They are veterans, one and all. They stand for freedom proud and tall."
The student dressed in World War II attire said it was in 1956, following the Korean War that the holiday became Veterans Day and paid tribute to all military service members past and present.
Among the veterans in the audience at Cedar Valley were several soldiers from the school's Adopt-A-School unit, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
The fourth-grade teachers put together the skit for a PTA performance and students repeated it for guests the day before Veterans Day.
"The kids have been excited about it. So many have parents who have been deployed," said fourth-grade teacher Kovetta Powell.
The skit, said Powell, a veteran herself, was a powerful teaching moment.
"It communicates what a veteran is," said fourth-grade teacher Lucinda Rhorick.
"We don't want to forget those who aren't serving anymore and we want to remember the reason for the holiday."
Powell, the fourth-grader who played the investigator, said he discovered a lot about veterans for real.
"This show was about honoring veterans," he said. "I didn't know they did all that."
Young, who played the part of his assistant, said, "I thought it was important we learn about veterans. I thought it was interesting to learn about veterans and to have veterans here with us today.
"I think they are awesome," she said.
"And I am proud to be an American because they have done a lot."