Student receives special surprise during Memorial Day concert |

Student receives special surprise during Memorial Day concert

Jack's Valley Elementary fifth graders sing 'You're A Grand Old Flag' for the crowd Thursday afternoon at the school.
Brad Coman

A heartfelt surprise awaited one student during a concert honoring veterans and service members at Jacks Valley Elementary School.

The community and fellow students were treated to a patriotic assembly concert led by the three fifth-grade classes Thursday afternoon in honor of Memorial Day, and local Douglas veterans.

Fifth-grade student Ayla Nelson was greeted by a surprise video of her father, Sgt. First Class James Nelson who is currently deployed in Qatar with the 1st Battalion 143 Field Artillery Regiment.

“I want to give a shout out to Jacks Valley for supporting the troops, and to my biggest fan, my daughter, I want to say: I love you, you’re my hero, and I’ll see you soon,” said Nelson in the video.

Several students, as well as audience members, were misty eyed after the video ended, but the students were troopers, continuing with their concert.

Each student had their moment in the limelight, reciting “A-Z” reasons as to why America is their favorite country.

Classic songs such as “It’s a Grand Ol’ Flag,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” and “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” were performed alongside more modern songs of patriotism. On several of them, they performed sign language and choreographed dance moves along with the songs.

The students wore matching star-spangled T-shirts in red, white and blue, and had been practicing for weeks, as almost all of the students were able to recite their speeches without looking at their cards for reference.

This is the last week of elementary school before it lets out for summer on June 11.