RED OAK – Hundreds of students at Red Oak Elementary assembled in the cafeteria recently to honor the five branches of the armed services and dedicate a new veterans memorial that was built in front of the school.

The students honored veterans by singing anthems and carrying the flag for each armed services branch as they marched in. Lana Shiver’s fourth-grade class played patriotic songs on recorders.

Among the guests that were recognized, principal Sharon Graves introduced John Cline, a member of Boy Scout Troop 493 in Duncanville, who built the memorial as his Eagle Scout service project.

“I have been in scouting since I was in the first grade. It has been a major learning experience and it has helped me become who I am today,” Cline said before describing the memorial’s design.

“The project consists of a monument with military flags around the base,” he said. “A pavestone walkway leads up to the monument and a flower garden with a bench overlooking the whole project.”

The monument has an inscription that reads: “Dedicated to all the valiant men and women who have fought and rendered unyielding service for the cause of freedom to keep the United States a great nation.”

Cline said the project benefited Red Oak Elementary because the children were no longer able to walk to the memorial at the Lions Club. 

“This was a safety issue due to the children having to cross over multiple streets to get to the Lions Club,” Cline said. “This memorial … will allow them to honor the veterans at their school.”

At the conclusion of the assembly, the students gathered outside at the new memorial in front of the school.

“It was a great ceremony and was well worth the time and labor,” Cline said.