Edmonson County High School honored local veterans as well as those across the world today at the annual Veterans Day assembly, which was highlighted by the Voice of Democracy speech winners.
The ECHS FFA chapter welcomed guests and handed out programs and buddy poppies to all that attended. The crowd stood at attention as the colors were presented by the ECHS color guard, then remained standing as FFA member Hunter Ashley led the Pledge of Allegiance. The ECHS band then played the National Anthem. They also played "America the Beautiful" later in the program, along with a medley of songs from each of the Armed Forces.
Opening remarks were made by FFA members Jarrod Sanders, Laura Wilson, Savannah Lindsey, and Sha Vincent. All veterans in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized as each conflict was called, dating back to WWII.
The Voice of Democracy winners then delivered their speeches; with third place winner Lainey Alexander taking the podium first, followed by second place winner Macie Glass. First place this year went to Keylee Saling, and as the other contest winners did, much of the speech focused on the importance of voting, those who sacrificed in order to bring voting rights to all people over the years, and how we must never fail to properly use the right to vote.
This year's guest speaker was Lt. Colonel Floyd Houston, U.S. Marine Corps Retired, and Commander of local VFW Chapter 6937. Col Houston discussed some of his military history and experience, brought two very emotional prints and discussed their impact on him, and addressed the students in the crowd.
"It always makes me feel good to see bright faces like yours," he said. "It assures us that America will go on for at least one more generation."
FFA member then gave closing remarks and the program concluded. Most veterans in attendance stayed and fellowshipped with other veterans and their families and friends.
Superintendent of Edmonson Schools Patrick Waddell was also in attendance at today's event.
"It's always been important to recognize and honor veterans in Edmonson County schools," he said. "All our schools have had some type of program for this occasion. I was glad to see the effort put into today's program at ECHS and to hear our student and guest speakers. It's our hope that our students, faculty, administration, and staff will continue to honor and appreciate our veterans."