LEWISBURG — Tri-County North Local Schools held a ceremony to honor Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 10. The event featured presentations by the Preble County Honor Guard and various school organizations.
Superintendent William Derringer opened the ceremony.
“Today we will honor and recognize the service of all who are veterans. We also want to remember the members of this community who are deployed and in harms way in various regions of the world, bring peace and democracy to those who long to have our freedoms. Today we wish them well and Godspeed in returning home,” he said.
“We also remember the members of this community who have not returned — the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Those who have given their lives so that we may remain to be free. Therefore it is my honor to bring to the members sitting before me, to those currently deployed, and the families of service members who have died bring us freedom, the best wishes and thanks from the entire Tri-County North community.”
Next, Kelli Cooke, Kylie Cooper, Hunter Pahl, and Chase Reed led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance. The TCN High School Band played the National Anthem, led by Tri-County North second grade students.
Don Kring held the POW/MIA Remembrance Table Ceremony, followed by a presentation by National Honor Society members. There were also numerous musical numbers, by the high school band and second grade students. Scout Troop and Pack 511 held a flag folding ceremony.
Poems were read by Annie Ferguson and Jennifer Barnes.
Ferguson read a poem entitled “Thank You,” by Colleen Davignon, while Barnes — who is a veteran herself — read a poem entitled “In Your Honor,” by an unknown author.
Before she read, Barnes noted, “You might notice a common theme, that anytime we talk about service members it is all about sacrifice. Some sacrifice everything that they have and some might come back and still make sacrifices.”
She then read, “Unselfishly, you left your fathers and your mothers. You left behind your sisters and your brothers. Leaving your beloved children and wives, you put on hold your dreams — your lives. On foreign soil, you found yourself planted to fight for those whose freedom you granted.
“Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost, but you carried onward, no matter the cost. Many horrors you had endured and seen. Many faces had haunted your dreams. You cheered as your enemies littered the ground; you cried as your brothers fell all around.
“When it was over, you all came back home, some were left with memories to face all alone; some found themselves in the company of friends as their crosses cast shadows across the land. Those who survived were forever scarred, emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
“Those who did not now sleep eternally, beneath the ground they had given their lives to keep free. With a hand upon my heart, I feel the pride and respect; my reverence is revealed in the tears that now stream down my upturned face. As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace, freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave.
“Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid. Every day, I give my utmost admiration to those who have fought to defend our nation.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH