|Veterans Day honors America's heroes|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Thousands of veterans all around the world were recognized and praised Wednesday, Nov. 11, for their time spent defending our country. Speeches were given and President Barack Obama spoke at various events also thanking veterans and current members of the armed forces.
A similar celebration took place at Holyoke High School where students listened to the words of three Voice of Democracy (VOD) contest winners who read their views on this nation’s heroes.
Does America still have heroes? This question was asked numerous times during the speeches given by Austin Killin, Elise Nelson and Sarah Heermann. It also served as the topic for the VOD contest. Another student winner, Brittany Durbin, was unable to attend the Veterans Day program.
Killin finished first, Nelson second, Durbin third and Heermann fourth in the local VOD contest. Killin’s speech will advance to district competition.
The high school band, under the direction of Pat Wiebers, performed Battle Hymn of the Republic and Marches of the Armed Forces, and third graders from Holyoke Elementary School sang Heart of America, under the direction of Marcia Dalton.
Steve Millage addressed the crowd mentioning boys’ and girls’ state to the students and encouraged them to participate in the program.
Millage also told a story about something he recently experienced. He received a call from someone who asked him a bunch of questions about where he went to school and if he was in the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War. Millage said he was.
It boiled down to a situation where there were 60 men in Millage’s unit in Vietnam and all but one returned. They wanted to get everyone together and go and visit the grave of their fallen soldier in Boston.
Millage said he was able to see all of the sites including the Freedom Trail and the site of the Boston Massacre while there and encouraged the students to, if ever given the chance, visit the same sites.
Millage also said he was wearing a pin on his shirt and one of their tour guides noticed it and thanked him for his service.
Taps was played by Jack Wieland and Taylor Haidle to end the program.