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Salisbury Academy’s Veterans Day Chapel celebrates coming together

SALISBURY — Salisbury Academy students and faculty were joined last week by representatives of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Trinity Oaks, local government and the larger community to celebrate and expressing gratitude for those who serve and have served our country.

An annual tradition, Salisbury Academy held its Veterans Day Chapel on Nov. 7. Navy veteran Maiya Keeling, a whole health coach for the VA Medical Center, delivered the key message. The Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard presented the colors.

Each month, Salisbury Academy uplifts a different virtue to study and apply to classroom learning and daily experiences. Themed around this month’s virtue of “wonder,” Keeling’s Veterans Day message shined light on the importance of overcoming differences to come together to help others.

Keeling told about her experience coming out of college, wondering what came next, and finding her path in the Navy working with doctors and nurses as a hospital corpsman to care for fellow service members and their families.

“And what I do today at the VA is not so different from that,” said Keeling, adding that each day she assists veterans as they uncover what is most important to them and work to reach their goals.

Keeling also spoke about Veterans Day and how, in addition to recognizing those who serve and have served our country, the holiday is about embracing the differences of the people who work together for our country.

“Veterans Day is about lifting up those who sometimes don’t have strength to stand on their own, about being inspired by someone who has lived a life different than yours,” Keeling said.

“It’s about looking for the light in dark places, looking for the helpers,” she said in closing. “When you look for the people who are the light, it is then that you can see the wonder that exists when we choose to be connected to one another.”

To complete the chapel, third-grade students led the audience in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and all the veterans present were thanked individually. Students, staff and nonveteran visitors took turns shaking the veterans’ hands and sharing a thank you for their service.

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