Alba-Golden honors veterans on their day

Posted 11/19/20

Alba-Golden schools came through in a big way to honor local veterans Wednesday, Nov. 11.

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Alba-Golden honors veterans on their day


Alba-Golden schools came through in a big way to honor local veterans Wednesday, Nov. 11. The respectful, professionally-executed event could not have been a more fitting honor for the 20 local veterans in attendance. 

Starting the day with a delicious breakfast in the high school library, the veterans were welcomed by school administrators. During breakfast the school shared a video of several staff members and students explaining what Veterans Day means to them. 

Now well-fortified, the veterans made their way to the gymnasium, where the students and Panther band were waiting.   

The colors were paraded, pledges recited, and Coach Robert Wells provided a resounding rendition of “God Bless the USA.” The theater department offered an excellently-conceived piece “A Letter to a Soldier.” 

Tim Knowles, a 2001 Alba-Golden graduate, gave the keynote address. The remarks were specifically addressed to the students who filled the gymnasium. Knowles introduced himself and described his personal background as a soldier, including his wartime service. His address, however, was not about service in wartime, nor the Army, nor the military. It was a collection of recommendations for the young students. 

With nods of approval from the fellow veterans seated before him, Knowles offered simple, well-considered advice.

“Get out of your comfort zone,” he began, “it is a dangerous place.” He challenged the students to be brave enough to try and to have grace enough to fail and try again.

His delivery was interspersed with examples of the learning points which he drew from his time in the Army.

Knowles’ recommendations kept coming: be part of something bigger than oneself, be a good teammate, pursue excellence – not perfection, but excellence. The talk was heart-felt and well delivered.

Knowles described the importance of leadership, how it is earned, and how it is a critical part of any success regardless of the endeavor.    

His final comments regarded the concept of identity, and how it is often misused to judge people.

“You may identify yourself by your profession or what you do,” he explained, “but that does not define you.” He explained that it was one’s morals, values and principles which identify an individual. “And,” he concluded, “behavior follows identity.” 

After the keynote remarks each branch of the service was recognized as the respective service songs were played by the Panther band. 

Superintendent Cole McClendon offered final comments, reminding his students that Veterans Day is as much about the future as about the past. 

The program concluded with Coach Wells singing the “National Anthem.”