The VWHS choir performs during Monday’s Veterans Day assembly.
Van Wert High School honored veterans on Monday as part of local Veterans Day activities. The VWHS Chamber Choir sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and students and guests recited “The Pledge of Allegiance” to begin the program.
The program also featured several guest speakers from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803, beginning with Post Commander Derek Sneed.
Sneed talked about the origins of Veterans Day, which began in 1919 as Armistice Day to celebrate the signing of the armistice the year before that ended World War I. Today, the holiday celebrates the service provided by all military veterans, whether in war or peacetime.
Sneed, a 2006 graduate of Lincolnview High School, talked about his own military service, which began when he joined the Ohio National Guard three days before he was to graduate.
“Part of it was family tradition: both of my grandfathers had served, my father had served,” Sneed noted. “I wanted to carry that on.”
Another factor that led to his service was 9/11, which he said was still very much in his mind five years later.
“I was in eighth grade when that happened and it left a permanent mark…,” he said.
One of things Sneed was impressed with was the camaraderie that existed between soldiers who came from diverse backgrounds.
“When I got to basic training, you had people from every part of the country, you had people from every race, color, creed, religion,” Sneed noted. “The thing that is pushed the most when you are there with your drill sergeants is that there is no skin color. You’re all ‘green’ now, you’re all in the Army…”
Two other veterans, Scott McClellan and David Pugh, read veteran-related poems, while Steve Pollock, a Vietnam veteran, talked about the need to respect veterans and the American flag, as well as some of the things he went through while serving in Vietnam in the late 1960s.
Original article courtesy of The VW Independent