The people celebrating Veterans Day at Fairview Elementary and the park nearby ranged in age from infancy to their 90s, and everything in between. Children at the elementary school called the vintage military vehicles that showed up outside their school "cool" and "awesome," while older veterans said being appreciated by the younger crowd made them feel special. The children stood outside in bright sunshine and waved American flags, while chanting "USA," as the veterans filled those vehicles and pulled out of the school’s back parking lot.

The people celebrating Veterans Day at Fairview Elementary and the park nearby ranged in age from infancy to their 90s, and everything in between. Children at the elementary school called the vintage military vehicles that showed up outside their school "cool" and "awesome," while older veterans said being appreciated by the younger crowd made them feel special. The children stood outside in bright sunshine and waved American flags, while chanting "USA," as the veterans filled those vehicles and pulled out of the school’s back parking lot.


Sam Johnston, a fourth grade student, said he really liked getting to see the vehicles. He especially liked the large Jeep with the big gun strapped to the top of it. Sam said his grandfather is a veteran and the two enjoy talking about his time in the service.


Libby Langford, also in the fourth grade, said she doesn’t know any veterans personally, but she took a stab at defining what the day was all about. "Whenever the people who used to be in war have retired," she said indicating the veterans standing all around her dressed in their military finest, "they (come here) to show us what it means. They just show us some stuff. But it really means that they fought for us so we should be thankful for them," Langford said.


Almost an hour later, Sherman Mayor Cary Wacker took the podium at Fairview Park to talk about a veteran she knew really well — her dad. He served in the Army during WWII and the Korean War.


"I want, first and foremost as have the others, to say thank you to the men and women here today that have served in uniform, served our country, and thank you to those who have sent their loved ones into service. We owe you a great debt, which we can never repay, but which we hope to honor here today."


She said she counted 95 years since Armistice Day or the day that ended "the war to end all wars." She added that it has been 75 years since Congress declared Nov. 11 as Veterans Day to honor all veterans. "And what those years have seen between then and now (is) thousands and thousands of men and women who have served and fought and some have died to defend both their nation and the many other allies and friends we have around the world to preserve the ideals of liberty and justice."


Wacker said this is a holiday like no other. "I believe it is still celebrated in the words of President Woodrow Wilson who wrote this in 1919 and in his official declaration to create a commemorative day … ‘To us, in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and gratitude for the victory, both for the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.’"


She said Veterans Day is a very personal holiday for many people. "It’s personal because this day is about the people we know, the service men and women and their families, who have served and sometimes left us behind by making the ultimate sacrifice. And it is personal for many of you here because, at some point, you experienced leaving behind family and friends to wear the uniform of one of the branches of the armed services, whether in combat or in peace time. And it’s personal because it’s about every veteran, every generation."


State Rep. Larry Phillips also spoke at the event, as did Grayson County Sheriff Keith Gary. A wreath was placed at the memorial by Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW President Linda Harding and Am Vets Commander Tom Lewis. Taking in all of those speeches from a seat close to the podium was Isaac Edward Isaacs, 90, who served in WWII. He landed on Normandy in 1944. "I didn’t go in D-Day. We relieved the boys who had gone in on D-Day. They had been shot all to pieces," Isaacs said.


He continued, "I was in the line 152 consecutive days, the longest in Europe. I had a semester of college when I went in, so they decided I would be a good forward observer," he said and then laughed.


"I called back fire control for the 105 Howitzers and the … big mortars," he said. He stayed in the Army three years and then came home and went back to college.


"Well I am prejudiced, of course, but I think that we guys in the service have saved this country several times. And it’s truly an honor to be an American," Isaacs said.


When asked for the top two or three moments in the country’s history as he has lived it, Isaacs thought just a second and said, "Atom Bomb, that’s No. 1. No. 2 is when we got out of Korean, most of us. We still got 30,000 people there, I think." He said Vietnam would be his No. 3.


Asked what he wants school children today to know about Veterans Day, Isaacs said, "I want them to know that veterans have saved our country nearly every generation."