FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie Schools celebrated Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 10, with a community-wide assembly.
A breakfast was provided to all veterans and their guests by the school’s National Honor Society chapter. A district-wide assembly followed in the high school gymnasium with students in grades kindergarten through 12 .
Seventy-nine area veterans began the assembly with a procession into the gymnasium to a standing ovation by all of those in attendance. Each was individually recognized as roll was called with John Eilerman, a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Navy being the last to be recognized as the oldest veteran in attendance, at the age of 92.
The program, which was planned and executed by the Old School History Club, had the theme of “Sacrifice and Service.” It featured five area veterans who are particularly noted for sacrifices they have made and/or the service that they have given to their communities in their time after serving in the military. The five veterans who were featured were Ashley Harrod, Jim Bornhorst, Sonny Meyer, Jim Koppin and Karl Puthoff.
After the presentation, which was led by high school students in the history club, the post commander from the American Legion Post No. 355, Don Eilerman, introduced a video that served as a message from the veterans to the students: “I fought for you.” Following the video, Taps was played.
Prior to the closing of the program, the American Legion Post No. 355 surprised the history club’s adviser, Brad Turner. Vietnam War veteran John Turner presented his nephew, Brad, with a plaque on behalf of the local American Legion post in recognition of Brad’s leading the annual Veteran’s Day program at the school. The color guard of the post then retired the colors to conclude the program.
“The theme of ‘Sacrifice and Service’ this year was selected because it’s important that those words do not become hollow to our students,” said Brad. “Students need to know exactly what the meaning is when we say, ‘Thank you for your sacrifice and service.’ And the five veterans we featured today are exemplars of these words.”
On being surprised by the Legion’s presentation to him, Brad said, “It means a lot to me, considering who that recognition is from. For these men and women to plan and put that together shows that we’re doing the right thing by putting in the time and effort to celebrate Veterans Day. And they deserve every single bit of recognition they get on this day for all that they’ve given to our country.”