By Shari Harris,
The Licking R-VIII schools hosted a tribute honoring local veterans on Friday, November 9 at the high school gymnasium.
The event started with a posting of colors by the Licking FFA, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Clifford Hawn and the singing of the National Anthem by the LHS Catabellas.
The event included Student Council President Kasen Monds as host speaker, Billie Krewson, VFW Post 6337 commander, who explained the meaning of the POW/MIA table, and guest speaker Sgt. (ret) Rick Sullins. Hannah Tillery was the Voices of Democracy winner and presented her essay about the importance of voting. Rachel Wallace followed with her essay, which won the Patriots Pen Essay contest.
Suzie Blackburn honored Korean War veterans and pointed out how this was a forgotten generation, between the nearly global involvement of World War II and the political controversy of the Vietnam War. She included planning which is underway for the VFW, the Licking Chamber of Commerce, and Licking Downtown, Inc. to sponsor local Korean veterans to travel to Piedmont in the summer to see a traveling Korean War wall.
Musical arrangements were performed by the LHS Concert Choir, the LHS band, and the third grade, who provided a rousing rendition of “Colonel Bogey’s You’re A Grand Old Flag” complete with kazoos. Kermit Lonning provided “Taps” at the end of the ceremony.
During the ceremony, veterans were asked to stand and introduce themselves to the crowd. Each was met by a hearty round of applause, followed by a standing ovation for the group, an honor befitting these selfless men and women.