Students in fourth and fifth grades gathered with little American flags, the school chorus ready to sing a stirring rendition of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a student dressed as Abraham Lincoln readied his top hat.
The students, who have been learning about the Civil War, gathered in the parking lot not just to show off their talents, but also to give two Floyd County residents a proper send off.
Dianna Edwards Haney of Cave Spring and Bill Hatcher of Rome left Thursday to make the 1,400-mile round-trip trek to Gettysburg.
While at the historic battlefield, the two will pick up more than 25 honey locust seedlings from the Witness Tree, where Abraham Lincoln stood to deliver his Gettysburg Address.
Two trees will be brought back to Cave Spring Elementary to replace trees lost in the April 27 storm.
“I really think the students will always remember this gesture. We lost the trees in the morning when they were in school. It was very sad for them,” said Principal Susan Childers.
The students were very excited to share in the day.
Zac Mitchell, a fifth-grader, donned a black top hat and suit to read the Gettysburg Address. The miniature Lincoln stepped into the role when another child backed out.
“I was very nervous,” he said.
Mitchell’s nerves didn’t show, and many of the parents and community members who gathered to watch were moved to tears.
“I think a lot of people got emotional,” Childers said.
The trees being brought back are part of a fundraiser hosted by the National Park Service. Haney and Hatcher have been told they will be the last people to receive seedlings as the program has been discontinued.
Several trees will go to private residents and public institutions. Also, two trees will be planted in Rolater Park in Cave Spring to replace more trees lost in the April storms.