HONORING VETERANS

By Joyce Ervin

Milan’s Veteran’s Day recognition began with a gathering in Wilson Park at the Milan Veteran’s Wall of Honor.  Citizens braved the cold and blustery wind on Nov. 9 to honor, “Those Who Protect Freedom and Liberty”, the theme of this year’s service.

The invocation was given by the Rev. Vincent Van Doan of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the flag bearers were Thomas Bunyea  and Anthony Pegouskie. Participating were the Howard Heath Knights of Columbus council 7587 Color Guards of the Milan Immaculate Conception Parish. The American Heritage Girls of Milan Troop 2407 sang the National anthem.

Milan High School students Heather Shures and Henry Thiry played “Taps” in echo, Valerie Wilson sang “God Bless America” and Ken Bauman ended the ceremony with a cannon salute after Bob Schrock delivered a machine gun Burst of Honor.

Mayor Michael Armitage was a featured speaker and the Rev. R.M. Freeman of the Agape Apostolic Church was the keynote speaker.  Many others joined in honoring our veterans.

The following day more than 130 second-grade students from Paddock Elementary School visited the wall and recited the Pledge of Allegiance and rang the bell in honor of each branch of service.  Then, their principal and teachers visited veterans at the American Legion Post 268 , who were being honored with a dinner. The students brought handmade letters and cards they gave to those in attendance.

Principal Sean Desarbo recited a poem and music teacher Debbie Nichols accompanied the youngster on guitar while they entertained singing  “This Land is Your Land”.  Superintendent of Schools Bryan Girbach greeted veterans and thanked them for their service.  He said, “We are  thankful we could come down to the Legion today and honor our veterans and  the students continue to learn about our history, as we continue to support them.”

Also visiting the Legion that day was Milan American Heritage Girls Troop 2407.  They recited their creed and oath and assistant leader Bridgett Gates gave a report on the community service the girls completed this year before they presented veterans with handmade cards and letters.   Korean War veteran, Robert Szentimiklosi , was pleased to receive his cards , and he shared them with his tablemates.

Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer.  She can be contacted at:  jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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