Brookville High School Hosts Veterans Day Program

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — Brookville Area High School held its second Veterans Day program Friday to honor and recognize the men and women from the area that have served their country.

Brookville American Legion Commander Russ Reynolds spoke with humor and solemnity about what being a veteran means to him.

“My uncle was a World War II vet and my dad was a Korean War vet. When the Korean War was over, I sat watching the TV and the Bob Hope Show and I turned to my grandmother and said when I grow up ‘I want to grow up, I want to go somewhere where I can see Bob Hope.’

“She had a pained look on her face and I didn’t know for maybe 30 years why, but I spent two tours in Viet Nam and the second Christmas I was there, they had a lottery for the guys to go see Bob Hope and I got to go see him.”

Reynolds spoke of the millions of veterans that live in this country.

“There are 9.2 million veterans over the age of 65. That includes WWII vets, Korean vets, those that served in between Korea and Viet Nam and of course, the Viet Nam vets. 1.9 million are under the age of 35, 1.8 million are women, 7.8 million Viet Nam era vets, 5.2 million from the Gulf War era up through today. There are 1 million from Pennsylvania. That’s a lot of people who have served.”

Brookville Superintendent of Schools Robin Fillman spoke briefly, saying “Thank you for your courage, your bravery and your love of America.”

State Rep. Cris Dush, who represents the 66th District that includes Jefferson County and part of Indiana, was the guest speaker. Dush is a BAHS graduate and a veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force.

Dush spoke about the sacrifices veterans have made and will continue to make. He also spoke of service that he hopes young people will undertake.

“These men and women have taken an oath to defend an ideal and we all need to do our part,” Dush said.

Dush also referred to a comment by former Hollywood film star, John Wayne. Wayne, who applied to the U.S. Naval Academy, but didn’t get in, did work with many veterans while filming various war movies.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

Some of the highlights of the program included the singing of the national anthem by BAHS music teacher Deanna Owens while the concert band, led by Dr. Timothy Stevenson, performed.

The band also performed the Service March while veterans from the Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard were recognized. The band also performed ‘Manhattan Beach’ by John Philip Sousa.

logan-bowser-and-levi-roseman

Also, two BAHS students, Logan Bowser and Levi Roseman performed ‘Taps’ to end the program.

James McCurdy, Commander of the Jefferson County American Legion Council, was the Master of Ceremonies. William Littlefield, Commander of VFW Post 204, also spoke while VFW Post 204 Chaplain James Porter gave the invocation and benediction.

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually Nov. 11, that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces.

It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.

The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I.

Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day.

Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985.

President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday.

Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day.”

U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954.

It had been eight and a half years since Weeks held his first Armistice Day celebration for all veterans.

Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since.


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