Military veterans from all branches of the armed forces were honored at a Nov. 12 assembly at Cedaredge High School.
Featured speaker for the event was Don Craig, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9221 and a submariner during the Korean War era who was a crew member on over 300 dives.
Craig told the assembled students from the high school and middle school that at a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921, President Warren G. Harding said, "All citizens indulge in a period of silent thanks to God for these valorous (veterans') lives, and of supplication for His divine mercy . . . on our beloved country."
Craig told the students, "On Veterans Day, we remember the fallen and we show the respect to those still among us, the veterans we know as friends, neighbors, relatives, and colleagues.
"Not every veteran has known the full fury of battle. But most count their time in uniform as among the defining experiences of their lives. The military drew out the best that was in them, instilling the highest standards of diligence, discipline, and loyalty. That is a bond joining every veteran from every branch of service."
This year marked the first observation of Armistice/Veterans Day since the end of WW I when there was not an American WW I veteran still living. The holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Quoting from President Ronald Reagan, Craig said, "'Our freedom is a fragile thing and one generation away from extinction.' I say to all you young adults that are in attendance in this wonderful school, you hold the future of this country in your hands."
Linzie Stratman, winner of the CMS Patriot Pen essay contest, and Madison Eckhart, winner of the CHS Voice of Democracy contest both of which are sponsored by the VFW, read their essays.
Stratman noted that America's founding fathers led the country in the right direction.
Eckhart said that the relevance of the U.S. Constitution will never be lost. The Constitution "has allowed us to become a global leader," and that supported by "this marvelous document America will never lose its sense of direction."
Six high school students who have chosen careers in the military rose and were recognized, as were attending members of each of the armed forces branches.
The national anthem was sung by Kayla Gash, Angela Laurence and Jordan Abbott.
Gary Tollefson, VFW post member, also quoted from Ronald Reagan saying that many people suffer from a lack of meaning in their life's work. "Marines don't have that problem," he said.blog comments powered by Disqus