GEORGETOWN — Several local school districts honored the brave men and women who serve and have served in the United States Military with ceremonies on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Georgetown Elementary School, Georgetown High School, Fayetteville High School, Western Brown High School, and Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington Elementary School all held ceremonies last Wednesday morning.
There was also a Veterans Day ceremony at the Ohio Veterans Home, featuring Brown County Probate/Juvenile Judge Danny Bubp and Ohio Veterans Home Director Chip Tansill, a retired US Army Colonel.
Georgetown High School held an assembly for the entire school in the morning as they listened to a presentation from US Brigadier General Gordon Ellis. Ellis is currently the chief of security at Lake Waynoka and is running for the Republican nomination for Brown County Sheriff.
Ellis spent four years as active duty in the US Army after high school and later he joined the Ohio National Guard, and was deployed abroad three more times. He was sent to Kosovo in 2004-2005, then he was sent to Kuwait and Iraq in 2008, and finally he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.
Ellis showed the Georgetown students a PowerPoint presentation of photos from his time in Afghanistan, pushing the point that many of the soldiers he fought and worked alongside were only a few years older than the high school students themselves.
In addition to Ellis’ presentation, the Walter-Miller American Legion Post 394 presented the colors and arms, and the Georgetown High School band performed the national anthem and taps.
At Georgetown Elementary School, Ellis also spoke to students, and there was a performance by the Georgetown High School band and the Children’s Christian Choir.
The Veterans Day ceremony at Western Brown High School began with an introductory speech from superintendent Raegan White.
In it, White read an article about Justin Allen, a soldier from Ironton, Ohio who died in 2010 on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan. White was one of Allen’s middle school teachers. The article talked about how White constantly strived to push himself, and when given the opportunity to serve his country, did not back down.
That was the theme of the entire ceremony at the school. The next speaker, Western Brown student Justin Carpenter, intertwined the Future Farmers of America creed with stories about his grandfather and how he was happy to have him as a hero.
Following Carpenter, Western Brown Junior ROTC Battalion Commander Brandon Timmers read a presidential proclamation from President Barack Obama officially declaring Nov. 11 as Veterans Day.
The Western Brown High School Band and High School Choir took over from there, playing a medley of all the United States’ Armed Forces songs as members of each branch stood and were recognized.
Finally, keynote speaker Rick Rhoades spoke about World War II and the impact it had on the country at the time. State Representative Doug Green sang Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” before Western Brown FFA historian Dana Buttree closed out the ceremony.
At the Ohio Veterans Home, the Veterans Day ceremony both celebrated the careers of many World War II veterans in attendance, but also inaugurated a new addition to the veterans home, complete with a stage and space for more than 100 seats.
Tansill and Bubp both spoke to the veterans about their career and about how the veteran’s contribution’s to society should never be forgotten.
Bubp then took a page out of the book of former Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus and along with Tansill, handed the approximately 50 World War II veterans in attendance commemorative coins for them to keep and remember this event.
According to Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown Administrator Rocco Parro, there are around 80 World War II veterans living in the Georgetown facility. Chaplain Bill Graybill gave both the invocation and benediction, and Lance Woodward of the Bethel American Legion Post 406 sang “God Bless America”, and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
(News Democrat Sports Editor Garth Shanklin contributed to this report.)