Veterans Day: a day to remember all who served in our Armed Forces. It is a day to remember both those who have fallen and those who did not. The Wayne County Elementary and High Schools each held an event on Friday, Nov. 10, to recognize this very important day.
The Wayne County Elementary School saw all of their students come outside to see the flag raised. The pledge of allegiance was said and the national anthem was played. The American Legion presented the colors, and the flag was raised first to the top of the pole, then lowered to half-mast, as it is supposed to be. Two band members performed taps.
The Wayne County High School Veterans Day tribute opened with a welcome. The American Legion once again presented the colors. The pledge of allegiance followed. The school band then played the Star Spangled Banner. The guest speaker was Dennis Alley, who served in the United States Air Force from May 1958 to May 1965.
Alley spoke of his time in the Air Force, stating that he enlisted and was at basic training in San Antonio a mere 13 days after he graduated from Corydon High School. While he was in the Air Force, he did not see combat but he did get sent overseas. He was sent to Spain for two months during the Berlin Crisis, where he served as an air policeman. He guarded the aircraft during his time in Spain. He was also sent to Whiteman AFB in Mo. While there he would occasionally hoist the flag, sometimes before sunrise. When the flag was hoisted before sunrise, he would get into his vehicle and use the spotlight to keep it illuminated until the sun came up. He was also based at March AFB in Calif., which was the 15th Air Force headquarters. The last place he was stationed was in Washington D.C., were he was sent to the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC). Alley stated that he couldn’t divulge what he was doing there, but did state that he guarded President Eisenhower and President Kennedy’s airplanes when they were there. He mentioned that when he was guarding Kennedy’s plane overnight, he and the other 149 men were outside in -8 degree temperatures with a biting wind. Once Alley was out of the service, he spent a total of eight years as a police officer in both Calif. and Corydon. He stated that his favorite active duty service member is Erica Halferty of the United States Navy.
After Alley had spoken to the audience gathered, the school honored those veterans present. This started with a series of videos made by students and teachers, who spoke of their family members that had served their country. Afterwards, a group of students came down to where the veterans were seated and introduced them, mentioning what branch they had served in and where they had been stationed.
A video titled “The History of Veterans Day” followed, which told the story of where the day stemmed from, what names it has held over the years and various other pieces of information.
Kenna Nickell and Abbigail Cox then sang God Bless America, with the audience joining in on the second time through.
Konnor Nickell read his poem honoring the veterans and Jayce Wyatt, who could not attend, had hers read as well.
The ceremony ended with the band once again playing taps. Afterwards the veterans lined up outside the gym for people to shake their hands and thank them for their service. The veterans were also invited to have lunch with the school.