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INDIANA: Students salute veterans at annual assembly

by HAYLEY FRYE on November 16, 2012 11:00 AM

On Nov. 8, Indiana Area Senior High School presented its annual Veterans Day assembly.

Senior Crystal Brinkley provided the introduction, welcoming all students, staff and guests to the assembly.

She then introduced Devon Robinson and Dalton Bright, who sang a beautifully harmonized version of the national anthem.

Following the anthem, Wade McElheny, principal of the high school, instilled upon all who attended the assembly the importance of showing respect and thanks for all that the military forces have done for us, and also to reflect on the sacrifices that they have had to make to protect our everyday lives.

Following this, A Capella choir, which consists of select individuals that audition for the honor of being a part of this group, was welcomed to the stage to perform the song "Return." The choir was accompanied by senior Katie Browe on the piano.

Between speakers and performances, selected students also read poems and letters that recognized the sacrifices made by veterans throughout history.

All students then watched a prepared video comprised of photographs of members of the military that were all husbands, wives, grandfathers, dads, moms, etc., of students and/or staff in the building.

All veterans that were recognized were acknowledged by a student or staff member that submitted information on their behalf.

The video began by recognizing veterans who served in the First World War, moving next to the approximately 22 veterans who served in the Second World War.

The video continued, recognizing veterans from the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Conflict and the Persian Gulf War. Finally, the video concluded by recognizing the approximately 15 active duty military personnel from Indiana High that served in either Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, or both.

For many students, the images of the men and women from the families of Indiana High School students and staff were a great addition to an already wonderfully prepared assembly. Sophomore Keshia Bartlebaugh agreed, saying, "The video was my favorite part because it allowed us to reflect on the people in our own community that have served."

To conclude the assembly, the Indiana High Madrigals, another vocal group at the high school consisting of 16 members from the aforementioned A Capella choir, performed a stirring version of "America the Beautiful," conducted by vocal music director, Scott Salser.

This year's assembly was organized by social studies teacher William Doody.

This moving event allowed Indiana High School students to experience some of the pride and recognition of the sacrifices that families of veterans experience each Veterans Day.

Senior Kacey Bush commented, "Veterans Day means a lot to me because my father is in the U.S. Army Reserves and is a veteran of two wars. He has been to Iraq and is currently in Afghanistan. Our veterans deserve recognition for what they do."

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