GUERNSEY--The community of Guernsey took time to honor local Veterans last Friday morning with a special program held at the high school.
Members of the local VFW and Legion posts conducted the ceremonies along with performances by the Guernsey-Sunrise High School Band, directed by Nathan Beutler and a chorus made up of third, fourth and fifth-grade students, directed by Jerry Sellars.
Following the playing of the National Anthem by the band, the Kindergarten class led those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following short welcome addresses by VFW Post Commander Steve Keigley, Platte County School District No. 2 Superintendent Mike Beard, also welcomed everyone and asked for all Veterans past and present, as well as current members of the military to stand and be recognized. He also had family members stand to be acknowledged for their service.
The band then performed “American Patriot Salute”, a medley of familiar patriotic songs.
Featured speaker Hank Miller, a WWI historian from Cheyenne, told the crowd about the various artifacts he has collected and restored from World War I.
Miller’s father-in-law was a soldier in that war and Miller said gathering and speaking about all the items he has acquired are his way to honor his father-in-law’s service as well as all the others.
Included in Miller’s display was a wide variety of memorabilia, including the dress uniform his father-in-law was issued and wore at the time. He also told about the signifigance of the different styles of helmets and weapons. Some of the items were actually sent from the front back home to the family during the war.
One of the most unique items was a collection of post cards that included hand-crocheted designs by French women, who made and sold the cards to raise money during the war.
Following Miller’s presentation, the elementary chorus sang “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Prior to the retiring of the colors, former Guernsey-Sunrise band director Doug Janas and current band director Nathan Beutler played a haunting echoed version of Taps on trumpets from the far corners of the gymnasium.
Following the closing, students and members of the public gathered at the tables in the front to get a closer look at Miller’s collection which included several 100-year-old newspapers from the United States and France. Miller answered a variety of questions about everything from the weapons to the parts of the uniforms.
The VFW and Legion posts also sponsored an all day soup bar at the VFW for Veterans and the public.
The event was well-attended and a fitting tribute to those who have so unselfishly given their service.