Service men and women, past and present, were the guests of honor at Branson’s Veteran’s Homecoming Celebration that was held the week of November 5-11. But these heroes graciously shared the stage with a young lady from Memphis, Conner Wiggins.
The eighth grader at Scotland County R-I High School presented homemade badges of appreciation to veterans from across the world. She made 2,000 Conner’s Cause badges to proudly present each Veteran that she met during her visit to Veterans Week 2014 in Branson, starting with the show honoring veterans on November 5, 2014 at the Branson Star Theatre.
Conner personally greeted and gave out these to each and every individual that attended the opening ceremonies at the Branson Star Theater during the special week.
Conner received many kind words, hugs and handshakes from Vets showing their appreciation for being remembered. One Vet asked if he could buy 36 of the badges to take home to his VFW. Conner graciously said “Please take them. I have never received a bill from a Vet for my freedom.”
Many Vets teared up just to think that a young lady of this generation not only cared enough to remember them, but that she personally made and delivered handmade patriot badges.
MgSgt. Arlen Lipper, owner of Branson Veterans Events & Reunion which organizes the week-long celebration to honor service men and women, was so moved by the efforts of the young lady, he nominated her for the Student Patriots Hall of Honor. Wiggins was inducted by David Bancroft, founder of the USA Patriotism Foundation during the special November 5th ceremony.
The honor was bestowed by Bancroft, who stated it was “in recognition of patriotic efforts that exemplify and foster love and pride of our beloved United States of America, that shine brightly for all.”
“These young people are patriots too, just more fresh and new,” said Bancroft. “They are sharing their patriotism for others to see and hear, helping to teach about being there in the name of freedom and justice.”
Conner was inducted and given the Student Patriotism Award for her many efforts in remembering and serving the Veterans.
She was later honored at Scotland County R-I during the Veterans Day tribute back home in Memphis on November 12th, receiving a standing ovation from the student body and the area veterans in attendance.
Her parents, David and RaElla Wiggins, were in attendance.
You can read about Conner, see her badges, and watch the complete video of her induction at usa-patriotism.com/students/honor/wiggins_c.htm.