By Airman 1st Class William Tracy
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The Ellicott community honored veterans, including Schriever Airmen, during a Veteran’s Day assembly at Ellicott High School Nov. 9.
“We are proud to have so many service members affiliated with the Ellicott School District, and are honored to gather here today to pay tribute to veterans and their families,” said Chris Smith, Ellicott School District superintendent. “We have prepared this ceremony for them.”
Veterans, varying in age, service and wars, including World War II and those actively serving today attended the event.
Veterans honored during the event included district staff and faculty. Sherry Ferriman, ESD certified financial officer, and Navy veteran, highlighted the community’s ties with the military.
“To be a veteran, you must have served for at least 180 days; many of our own family members here at Ellicott have done that,” Ferriman said. “We pay tribute on this day to these service members and join them in their resolve to keep America safe and free.”
The high school band, elementary school choir and the Air Force Rockies Clarinet Quartet performed during the tribute.
Col. Jennifer Grant, 50th Space Wing commander, and assembly key note speaker, explained the importance of veterans and their service.
“Many of us are asked ‘why do we serve?’” Grant said. “It’s because of our love for service and for our love of our country. I encourage all of you to think about what it is we have to be thankful and grateful for, for the freedoms we enjoy, for the luxuries that we have, and for the people who come together and sustain our way of life each and every day.”
The event featured a separate acknowledgement and applause for all veterans in attendance. Veterans stood as their names were read and each was given a letter and hand-made flag from Ellicott students as a token of appreciation.
“We want to thank all of our service members and their families for the sacrifices they made to preserve our freedom,” Smith said.
Students stood as well, when asked to do so if they had family members currently in the armed forces – prompting most to their feet.
“We are proud to say so far we have over 345 service members who are staff or family members from our school district,” Ferriman said. “All together, they have served more than 3,220 years.”
Grant acknowledged the strong bonds between Ellicott and Schriever, and expressed her gratitude for the community’s support.
“This is by far the most amazing Veteran’s Day celebration I’ve been to in my 22 years in the Air Force,” Grant said. “On behalf of the men and women of Schriever Air Force Base, we thank you.”