Brett Nachtigall/Fall River County Herald-Star
Hot Springs students attending last year’s 2019 Veterans Day program at Case Auditorium hold their hands over their hearts during the presentation of colors by the Post 71 American Legion.
By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – While the Hot Springs and Edgemont Schools will both be hosting Veterans Day programs again this year on Nov. 11, the ‘how’ and ‘where’ are going to be different due to COVID concerns.
The Hot Springs Schools’ event – which usually fills Case Auditorium and is ‘standing room only’ for attendees who don’t arrive early – will begin at 9 a.m, but the general public this year, will not be allowed to attend the event in person. Instead, the school will be utilizing its new LiveTicket TV electronics equipment and livestreaming for the public to view online.
Veterans and their immediate family, however, are invited to participate in the program at the school. According to a recent post on the distict's Facebook page, "refreshments will not be available after the program. Masks are encouraged, but not required. Social distancing will be implemented. Please screen yourself before attending and if you aren't feeling well please stay home."
Typically the Hot Springs Veterans Day program is attended by all 750 members of the student body, along with several hundred other members of the community. This year, only those students directly involved in the program will be attending, which includes about 260 students. Those students include student council members conducting the program, along with members of the music programs in the elementary, middle and high schools. All other students will watch the program online from their classrooms.
The link for other members of the public to view online is www.hotsprings.liveticket.tv. The program will also be recorded and posted on the district's website so it can be viewed later by parents and the community.
Edgemont’s Veterans Day program this year has been moved off-campus and will be held at the St. James Catholic Church Parish Hall, also at 9 a.m.
Student-access to the event will also be limited to only those who are part of the program, which in this case will only be the 10-member senior class, who will all be wearing masks, according to event organizer Garland Wright.
There will be limited space for select members of the community to attend, specifically local Veterans and their families, but precautions will be put into place to limit possible exposure to COVID.
“We will be prerecording the program and uploading it to YouTube and have a viewing throughout school classrooms and at the Parish Center,” Wright said. “I am trying to limit the exposure to our veterans as they are often a vulnerable population. We will still include many of the traditional aspects of our program, but again they will be prerecorded and we will also have some new aspects as well.”
One of the new aspects Wright is hoping to implement this year for the Edgemont program is a montage of local Veteran photos with their names, rank, and branch. This is also being done currently for the Hot Springs Veterans Day event.