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McKENZIE (November 12) — Sacrifice is the keyword for all veterans, said the featured speaker at the annual McKenzie High School Veterans Day Program. He said each veteran was or is willing to …
McKENZIE (November 12) — Sacrifice is the keyword for all veterans, said the featured speaker at the annual McKenzie High School Veterans Day Program. He said each veteran was or is willing to sacrifice everything for the love of their country.
Norman French, a McKenzie High School graduate and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, 1982-1986, where he served as a sailor on a nuclear ballistic submarine, was the featured speaker. French said he is a third generation veteran, following his grandfather, a WWII veteran, and his dad, a Korean War veteran.
As a child, French said his father would never talk about the atrocities of war. The machine gunner witnessed the North Koreans rounding up villagers to place in front of their advancing troops. The one thing the elder French would talk about was how cold it was in Korea.
While his father did not lose his own life during the conflict, he did sacrifice his soul. He only found inner peace once he accepted Jesus.
French held a folded flag with the field of blue visible. The flag was given to his family as part of the military honors portion of his father’s funeral. The military honor guard handed the flag to the family with this message: “on behalf of a grateful nation.”
In closing, French said America is the greatest nation on earth because veterans were willing to sacrifice everything.
The 10 a.m. program was opened by Will McBride, Student Council president. Macey Ognibene read a narrative about the meaning of Veteran’s Day, which commemorates the ending of WWI on November 11, 1918, one hundred years ago.
Emily Bolin read her first place Voice of Democracy speech, and Sydney Pate, Drew Beeler, Eli Surber, and Lane Horton presented explanations of the American conflicts.
The MHS Band presented patriotic music.
MHS student leaders Jenna Tucker and Kennedy Green presented patriotic readings, and the commemorative ceremony ended with the playing of TAPs by MHS trumpeters.
MHS Principal Tim Watkins announced the names and branches of service for each of the visiting veterans, who served from WWII to the most recent conflicts in the middle east.