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Angela Schwindt, an Oregon mother and coach, once said, “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” 

Last week, schools across Sumner County held programs to honor those locally who have served our country as part of Veterans Day.

One of those schools in particular – Union S.T.E.M. and Demonstration School in Gallatin – held a new event on the morning of Nov. 11. The Veteran’s Walk started in the library and ended in the cafeteria with a program and reception.

“We started down the hall and for me fifty years of sadness and sometimes grief just floated away,” one Vietnam War veteran wrote on social media following the event. “Six hundred children waving flags and wanting high fives from all of us was like a gift from heaven to me.”

Later that morning, we posted a 47-second video of the walk on the Gallatin News Facebook page. The reaction to it was unexpected to say the least. 

In just one week, the video had been viewed more than 263,000 times and had a combined 16,700 reactions, comments and shares. The post itself had reached even more people – approximately 613,000 – by Monday.

The popularity of the video got us asking how something so simple could receive so much attention on social media? Unfortunately, it’s because what it shows is something that is not seen very often.

Each year, we tend to recognize members of the military on July 4, Veterans Day and Memorial Day, which honors those who have served our country. However, we owe our way of life and the freedoms we enjoy every day to the service and sacrifices made by past and present members of the United States Armed Forces.

Nationwide, there were an estimated 20.8 million living veterans in 2016, according to the most recent data from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Organizers of the Veterans Day parades and other programs that honor local veterans throughout Sumner County each year should be commended for not forgetting about those men and women who have served our country.

As for the rest of us, we believe we could all learn something by simply stopping for a minute and watching the excitement and respect local elementary school students show for a group of veterans walking down a hallway at their school on a Monday morning.

The Main Street Media editorial board is comprised of Publisher Dave Gould, News Editor Sherry Mitchell and reporters Josh Cross and Tena Lee.  

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