Veterans honored at Manila High School
Monday morning, Nov. 11, at Manila High School began with a Veteran's Day program. Teachers, staff and students welcomed 1967 Manila High School graduate and Vietnam Veteran Eddie Joe Barker, Colonel David Hastings with ASU, and keynote speaker Cadet Isaiah Washington.
Debra Lee, high school librarian, welcomed the students and veterans.
The MHS Choir sang the Star Spangled Banner following the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
"We enjoy the freedom we have because of our veterans," she said.
Barker spoke briefly about his service and read a poem written by a fellow soldier in his platoon St. Bruce "Buck" Land."
Barker introduced the speaker Cadet Washington. He will graduate from ASU and will receive a commission for the Army in May of 2014. He is a member of the Rugby Club and the All Army Ruby team.
Cadet Washington started his speech with a moment of silence for the veterans, firefighters, and police officers who have given their all.
He talked about the definition of a veteran.
One meaning is "someone who writes a blank check to the United States of American for up to the amount of his/her life."
He talked about giving respect and tribute to those willing to service.
"We have 22 million veterans in the U.S." he said. Ten percent are women. There are 9.6 million veterans who are 65 and older; 7.5 million are Vietnam veterans; 1.6 million are World War II veterans, and 3.6 million are disabled veterans. We should say thank you to our veterans."
Washington went on to talk about the military and their families.
"We fight for our country but we fight for each other," he said. "We should show support to their families, also. I want to say God Bless you, God Bless our Country, and God Bless our Veterans."
A question and answer session was held with the students.
Barker closed by saying, "We were called to do a service. We did the best we could. We went and we served."
Students and teachers left the auditorium shaking the hands of the guests.