“It is easy to recognize our veterans as active-duty service members who are very visible due to our ongoing operations overseas,” Dr. John Lippe, Lakeview Middle School principal told students. “However, the majority of veterans we honor today no longer actively serve wearing a military uniform. Many have gone on to become our teachers, police officers, firemen and neighbors. Whether they wear the military uniform today, or wore it decades ago, veterans represent an unwavering dedication and exemplify the highest ideals of service to our Nation.”
Posting and Retiring of the Colors were performed by the Kosciusko County Honor Guard. The event also featured a guest speaker. Ken Locke, Salvation Army Community Ministries coordinator and U.S. Army veteran, shared stories of being raised by a combat veteran father, military service and the loss of a friend in Vietnam.
“There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where my hair gets thinner and grayer that I don’t look in the mirror and say ‘you’ve given me one more day than you did Darwin, and I thank you,’” said Locke, becoming emotional. “I spent many years with Darwin’s mother, talking to her. And in all those years she never complained. She loved this country more than anything. So remember today that there are people that are hurting. There are people that for this day is in remembrance of someone that gave their all for this country.”
To honor veterans, the Edgewood and Lakeview combined advanced bands honored veterans with an Armed Forces Salute, where veterans stood during the playing of their respective service song. Students with family members currently serving were also asked to stand and be recognized.
“I am amazed at how many students stood that have family serving,” Locke reflected. “We have no active duty station near-by. To see that many with families from right here serving is definitely moving.”
The service ended with the playing of Taps. Another concert is being held tonight at 7 p.m. The public and all veterans are invited to attend.