Nearly 3,000 community members and Hamilton students filled the bleachers of the Dale Barry Gym at Hamilton High School Wednesday to honor approximately 100 veterans in attendance.
Principal and veteran Dan Kimzey asked the veterans to stand and be thanked.
“Thank you, veterans, for your service to our country and to our community,” Kimzey said. “Your ongoing efforts make our community great.”
Veterans who stood included three WWII veterans, nine who served in Korea, more than 30 who served in Vietnam, 10 from the Gulf war, 15 who served in Afghanistan, 12 who served in Iraq and more than 40 peacetime veterans.
When Kimzey got to the Vietnam veterans, he asked them to stand twice for applause.
“They did not receive the honor they should have. It may be over 40 years too late, but thank you for your service to our country,” Kimzey said, as the gym erupted with applause and cheering.
High school teacher and veteran Lance Turner presented a very solemn prisoner-of-war and missing-in-action ceremony. Boy Scouts brought out items and set a small round table as Turner read the meaning behind each item.
“Remember,” Turner said after each item was placed on the table.
The Washington Primary School students enthusiastically waved small U.S. flags and sang “On Veterans Day.” Other musical numbers included “Anthem,” “America, the Beautiful,” taps and “Sousa Spectacular.”
Six Hamilton Middle School students read their essays thanking the veterans.
Eighth-grade student Quoia Anderson gave a speech that included a verse from the Bible.
“John 15:13 says ‘Greater love has no one than this – that he lay down his life for his friends.’ This is the perfect verse for veterans,” Anderson said. “You sacrificed your life to save ours. We thank you.”
Kimzey wrapped up the speeches.
“We want to teach our kids to appreciate veterans, not just on Veterans Day but each and every day, to thank you for all you have done and what you bring to the community,” Kimzey said.
Reach reporter Michelle McConnaha at 363-3300 or email@example.com.
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