Exeter-Milligan schools upheld the tradition of recognizing and honoring Veteran’s on Veteran’s Day on Monday morning, November 11.
Exeter-Milligan Senior Alex Benorden welcomed the crowd before Exeter Cub Scout Pack 218 presented the colors and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The crowd remained standing while the Exeter-Milligan High School Band played the “Star Spangled Banner.”
The band also performed “America, the Beautiful,” before requesting that all veterans present stand when their service branch theme song was played. The band played a medley of the theme songs in “America’s Finest.”
Exeter-Milligan’s own Tim Wilbeck, a Vietnam Veteran, gave the message at the program. Wilbeck’s emphasis was on appreciating and honoring the veterans among us.
Wilbeck began his speech with sobering statistics, “More than one member a day of active military or reserves commit suicide. More service members die by their own hand every day than die in combat in Afghanistan.”
“We have a duty to those who have experienced the horrors of war first hand. . .it is up to us to ensure that every veteran knows his service is appreciated,” explained Wilbeck.
Wilbeck went on to tally up how many veterans from each war are still living with veterans of the Vietnam war being the largest group. With World War II veterans aging their numbers are falling quickly.
“We must honor not just those who fought but all who have served in our armed forces. They expressed their willingness to serve and even die for this country,” noted Wilbeck.
He spoke of veterans who have lost limbs and how some were able to make a difference with the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Wilbeck spoke of two wounded warriors who visited Boston victims six days after the attack. One of the wounded warriors explained to those who had just lost limbs, “This isn’t the end, this is the beginning.”
“This was an inspirational story of a veteran, not the technology for those who have lost a limb. This came from the heart,” said Wilbeck.
Wilbeck touched upon one of the often forgotten groups of veterans, the women who have served our country and lost their lives. “There are 1.2 million women veterans in American who deserve our support. There are 22 million veterans who need to be treated as saviors of our country.”
Wilbeck read a poem by Andrea C. Brett, “I Am a Veteran,” before requesting that “God bless America and God bless our veterans.”
The Exeter-Milligan Junior High Choir sang “Our America,” which was comprised of many popular songs that celebrate our country. The Exeter-Milligan High School Choir members Kimberlin Ruhl and Hunter Stride performed “My America,” and then were joined by Friends of Vocal to perform “Inscription of Hope.”
Exeter-Milligan Senior Erica Yound dismissed the attendees from the program.
Butch Jansen, Alan Songster and Larry Cudaback.
Mark Beethe and Kenny Due
Exeter-Milligan band performed several numbers.
Tim Wilbeck gave the speech.
Exeter-Milligan Junior High Choir performed "Our America."
Hunter Stride (left) and Kimberlin Ruhl sing "My America."
Exeter-Milligan Choir and Friends of Vocal perform "Inscription of Hope."
Erica Yound dismisses the crowd.