Third grade students at Harry McKillop Elementary debuted the school’s annual patriotic music program, “Honoring Our Veterans” on Thursday, Nov. 9 in two heartfelt presentations.


The shows began with three students leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge. Students then sang and danced to “Star Spangled Banner,” “Sing, America, Sing!,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Fifty Nifty.”


During a performance of “God Bless America,” students not only sang, but also used sign language.


Toward the end of the program, students came forward to dress in uniform as heroes from each branch of the United States military. Veterans in the audience were asked to stand when their branch was represented on stage. “Taps” was played by Tyler Wilson, a junior at Melissa High School.


At closing, third grade teacher Brian Thornburg, who served in the United States Air Force, delivered a poignant speech to all in attendance, but to students in particular. He spoke of what it means to be a veteran, and explained ways in which students can serve their families and their community.


The “Honoring Our Veterans” program was a result of the diligence of the third grade class in conjunction with music director Pam Fortner.