The 2012 Veterans Day Celebration will take place Nov. 15 at 9:30 a.m. in the main auditorium of Perimeter Church, which is at 9500 Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek.
Event chairman Jay Varner said when he came to the school in 1999 it had already grown from a program acknowledged by a few classrooms to a program requiring the sanctuary at the church.
“It went from a classroom inspiration to a school-wide event,” he said.
The first year Varner saw the program he said he came expecting a regular school assembly where maybe he could sit in the back of the room and grade some papers.
“By the time that program was over I was chocked up - I’m not an overly-emotional person - and I was pretty impressed with the program,” he said.
The next year Varner made sure he was on the committee to help with the veterans’ program, and a couple years after that he was chairman of the whole event.
Last year there were over 2,000 in attendance — including 230 veterans — Varner said, and the day serves as both a way to honor those who have served and for the students to literally sit at their feet and learn the country’s heritage at the reception after the program.
“Some veterans just give their name and when they served, others share more information,” Varner said. “These veterans are sharing a legacy with these kids. Every one of those stories are stories our kids need to hear.”
This year, Black Hawk Down veteran Major Jeff Struecker is going to be the keynote speaker for the program. Struecker led one of the rescue missions into Mogadishu in 1993.
“He has a phenomenal story,” Varner said. “He talks about how his faith helped him live through that experience.”
The program is open to the public and veterans are encouraged to come with their families for the celebration.