Veterans honored at Buffalo Island Central High School
Honoring Hometown Heroes, a program in honor of veterans, was held at Buffalo Island Central High School Monday morning.
The program was hosted by the BIC EAST Initiative students honoring men and women who have served in all branches of the military service.
Monette American Legion Post 136 presented the colors followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Student Drew McFall gave the welcome and Private Natalie Campbell gave the opening remarks.
A thank you video produced by the EAST classroom was presented by Julie Thompson who offered her gratitude to all veterans.
The video featured local teachers, students and Superintendent Gaylon Taylor thanking all veterans for their sacrifices.
Alex Talavera offered a salute to all branches of the military asking veterans to stand when their military tribute in song was presented.
Student Nikki Gordon told the crowd BIC is adding a Veterans Hall of Fame honoring a veteran each year. The first veteran to be honored was James Butler. EAST produced a video featuring Mr. Butler talking about his 33 years in the service.
Mr. Butler, 97, is the founding member of the BIC Hall of Fame. Born in 1918, he was drafted on Dec. 5, 1941, two days before the United States joined World War II. He served in the Medical Corps.
Mr. Butler was presented a plaque by Olevia Hughes and Jessica Krob.
Copies of the video will be presented to Mr. Butler and his family.
Leo Perez sang "God Bless the USA," receiving a standing ovation.
Arkansas Representative Dave Wallace was the guest speaker. Rep. Wallace is a veteran and a Leachville resident.
"I am proud of BIC," Rep. Wallace said. "Thank you for honoring veterans. I am proud to be from BIC and I am proud to be an American."
He went on to recognize all of the men and women who have served. He talked about the many who made the ultimate sacrifices.
"Young men and women have gone off to war about every 20 years," Rep. Wallace said. "Some come home from war and are honored as heroes. Others such as Vietnam veterans not so much. I want to say welcome home to the Vietnam veterans."
He talked about the young men and women in the VA hospitals who are there because they fought for freedom.
"We have mothers, fathers, children, wives and siblings going down the path of cemeteries," he said. "The price of our freedom is not free. Remember there are always evil men in the world who hate us, want to enslave us and kill us for our message we give to the rest of the world. Remember the beautiful words, we are Americans, we are free.
"Everyone has worries but we do not have to worry about the cost of our personal freedom. For 238 years that price has been paid for us."
Rep. Wallace went on to talk about courage.
"In my introduction they talked about my awards," he said. "I was always afraid in combat. Courage does not mean we are not afraid. Even though we're afraid, we go and fight anyway. It is okay to be afraid, but never give up."
He said combat veterans always carry memories.
"They are all heroes," he said. "God bless America."
The program ended with the playing of TAPS, the folding of the flag in honor of all deceased veterans.
All veterans were honored with a reception following the program.