Town Crier News Staff
Area veterans received two standing ovations during the Veteran's Day ceremony on Friday at Riverside Junior High School.
Principal Polly Owens welcomed guests and veterans.
"We decided to have our Veterans recognition day on Friday giving our veterans the opportunity to attend other ceremonies on Monday," Owens said. "I hope each of our students recognize the sacrifices our veterans have made. I love to go to Wal-Mart and I could not do that if it were not for our veterans. I love driving down the highway. I could not do that if not for our veterans. I love the fact I had the opportunity to go to college and get an education thanks to our veterans. We take all these things for granted. We should give our veterans a sincere thank you."
Owens also had visiting parents and relatives of all Riverside students stand and be recognized.
Owens said instead of a guest speaker for this year's ceremony, she decided to let the veterans introduce themselves and say a few words.
Among the veterans honored were Roger Williams who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1981-1985. Williams said it is an honor to be sitting among the veterans present. Jessie Morris recently returned from Iraq and expressed his appreciation for what everyone had done for the troops serving in Iraq. Jerry Vaughn, Army veteran who served from 1968-70, expressed his appreciation to the students. Dalton Taylor, who served from 1944-1946, said it was an honor to be there. Rudy Anderson said he was thankful. Roy Anderson served from 1943-45 in the South Pacific. He said to always remember those who did not return. Roy Wycoff served in the U.S. Army from 1954-57. Ervin Smith served in the U.S. Army from 1970-90 and said he wanted to salute everyone who served and is serving. John Davis, said he was with the 81st Transportation unit and spent a few weeks in Korea. He said he appreciated all of the veterans who had gone before him. David Olson served in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1988. Glen Patrick served in the Navy from 1941 to 1947. Garland Platz served in Vietnam and Germany from 1965 to 1968 and spent 22 years in the Guard. He thanked the school and staff for the honor.
The Riverside junior high band and choir performed several patriotic songs including The National Anthem, The Stars and Stripes, The Star-Spangled Banner, A Patriotic Festival and Armed Forces on Parade.
Owens read a letter from calling the 24 million living veterans among the nation's finest citizens. She encouraged everyone to thank the veterans for their sacrifices. She also read a letter from the White House encouraging respect and gratitude for those who have served and are serving in the military.
A moment of silence was held in honor of the veterans who gave their all, followed by Taps.
A reception was held in the home economics building. Students served the visiting veterans refreshments.
Many of the students greeted and shook hands with the 13 veterans present for the ceremony.