OXFORD – Communities across the nation honored America’s veterans on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.
Schools across Preble County held special ceremonies and invited veterans, as did schools in Oxford.
National Trail, Twin Valley Community Local, Eaton Community Schools, Tri-County North and Preble Shawnee students all held special events on Friday.
The Oxford community came together Friday, Nov. 11, to celebrate Veterans Day in an all-day collaboration between Miami University and Talawanda School District.
Events in Oxford included a Veterans Day breakfast at Talwanda, and a veterans’ reception sponsored by Oxford Parks and Recreation Department at the Oxford Visitors’ Bureau.
These events allowed veterans to come together and swap stories as they waited for the next celebration of their service.
Miami’s Voice of America Learning Center hosted a Veterans’ Tribute and Resource Fair.
At noon, OPRD’s Veterans Ceremony was held in Uptown Oxford at the memorial in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Casey Wooddell, Director of OPRD, led the program.
“If I look at my family, out of all those people, there’s only one person who ever made that choice to enter the military,” Wooddell said. “That was my grandfather, who served in the Marines back in the 50s. I am nervous because I do not have experience to share. I do not have war stories to tell you about. I do not truly understand the life that our military lives.
“I do understand how important it is to have those people all around our country that make that choice,” he added.
He thanked veterans for sacrificing and serving and then turned the stage over to Miami University AFROTC Color Guard for the “Posting of the Colors.”
Lisa Kuhn of Crossroads Church in Oxford presented the invocation.
OPRD’s preschool class led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by American Heritage Girls’ Hailey Barbour singing the National Anthem.
Other speakers included Oxford Mayor Kate Rousmaniere, Talawanda High School Key Club representative Amily Zhou Wang, and MU Student Veteran Emma Watt of the United States Marine Corps.
Patrolman Pete Durkin of the Oxford Police Department led in the laying of the wreath. Wooddell urged the public to take the microphone and grab a white carnation for their loved ones serving and a red carnation for their deceased military friends and family. Those who attended then had the opportunity to say a few words on that person or persons.
Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and grandparents all were commemorated for their service.
A moment of silence was given for those who have passed, followed by Graduate Student Dylan Drake performing “Taps.”
Oxford Police Department representative John Buchholz gave closing remarks.
He finished his speech, “We remember and honor all veterans.”