LEWISBURG — Tri-County North School held its annual Veterans Day assembly on Friday, Nov. 8. According to Superintendent William Derringer, attendance from veterans was up significantly from previous years, due to outreach from elementary music teacher (and veteran) Ron Duncan.
The assembly began with an entrance parade of Preble County Honor Guard and Scout Troop and Pack 511. Superintendent Derringer welcomed those in attendance. He noted, this is the 19th year the school has done the program with the entire student body in attendance.
“Today we spend a few hours reflecting on the service and sacrifice of our veterans. Today we say thank you and — so we don’t forget — we remember the times in our histories where men and women gave up themselves, so we would remain free. Today, we are once again called to remember that our freedoms and liberties are still in need of a common defense,” he said.
“It is through the sacrifices of men and women — like those seated in front of me — that we are able to gather here as members of a free society and demonstrate our deep gratitude.”
Preble County Honor Guard performed the Presentation of Colors. Cora Helms and Austin Davis led those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance. The high school band performed the National Anthem, which was led bysecond grade students.
The Honor Guard presented the POW/MIA Remembrance Table Ceremony. National Honor Society members did a presentation where they dressed as different eras in the military and shared statistics of those soldiers who fought in various wars.
The second grade students performed “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “My Country ‘tis of Thee” under the direction of Duncan, with accompanist Lillian Davis.
Scout Troop and Pack 511 presented the flag folding ceremony.
Paul Pahl read “We Owe Them A lot” by Joanna Fuchs.
“On Veterans Day we remember again / Our men and women who served; / We honor them now for what they did then: / The liberties they preserved. / Let’s never forget their sacrifice, / The hard, heavy work they have done; / They did what was asked, crucial needs they fulfilled, / With a telephone, pencil or gun. / We’re happy and proud to honor them; / They gave so much more than they got. / Our heroes, our veterans kept freedom safe; / All of us owe them a lot,” Pahl read.
Jennifer Barnes read “Thank a Vet.”
“Many people travel to our shores / To escape their world of strife and leave their troubled lands behind / To enjoy our way of life / But our way of life in America / Didn’t come easy, so don’t forget / If you love what we enjoy today / Be sure and thank a Vet,” she read.
“They shed there blood on foreign shores / to help keep others free / and many never came back home / to their wives and family / Many Fathers, Sons and daughters / Still battle in distant sand / May they never be forgotten / Nor the fight they have at hand / The bells will toll in their honor / As long as we never forget / America is what it is today / Thank God, and thank a Vet.”
High School Principal Kristen Mills led TCN Middle School Student Council President McKenzie Moyer and Vice-President Sawyer Flora in the presentation of wreath. The wreath was presented to Jennifer Barnes and Duncan, who are both veterans and teachers at Tri-County North.
The High school band, and second through fourth grade students performed “Armed Forces — the Pride of America!” under the direction of Terra Moniaci. Veterans were asked to stand when their branch of service was saluted.
The Honor Guard presented a 21-gun salute. Duncan and Ella Stone performed Taps.
K-4 Principal Joe Finkbine offered the closing remarks.
“One of the wonderful things we are able to do with a program like this, is not only recognize those who have served, but also educate the young people at Tri-County North about the value in the sacrifices that were made, so they can have the freedoms they have today,” he said.
“It is not only about remembrance for us, but also about educating our young people about those sacrifices. Again, we would like to thank our veterans for what they have done, are doing, and will do so that the United States of America remains a free country.”
Second and fourth grade students then performed “God Bless the USA” under the direction of Duncan, with accompanist Davis. The high school band performed “The Rowen Tree.”
All veterans were invited to a reception in the high school cafeteria following the program.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH