Veterans Day is Nov. 11, the date in 1911 of the end of World War I. The official end of the war was signed by President Woodrow at exactly 11:00 a.m. So, the month, day and time are 11-11-11 – very special.
Many of my friends and high school classmates either joined or were drafted into military service, mostly around the time of the Vietnam war. My military service came from my enlistment in the Indiana National Guard. My signing date was to have been Nov. 22, 1963, but it was delayed due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on that date.
The six years I served in the Indiana National Guard were very good. I was assigned to a unit responsible for the care and maintenance of all the military aircraft of the Indiana National Guard. I made several new friends and was honored to serve with several guys that I grew up with or who were schoolmates.
This year, I attended the Veterans Day program at South Grove Intermediate School in Beech Grove. For about 12 years, I drove a school bus for Beech Grove City Schools and one of my routes was with South Grove students. Also, Stuart and I do a weekly reading program at two Beech Grove schools and South Grove is one of them. We have been a part of that program for several years.
Stuart did not accompany me to South Grove for the Veterans Day program, but I told him afterward about the very special program that I attended.
Several students took part in the program. The 5th Veterans Day choir performed several special songs, including “Hooray for the USA” and “America the Beautiful.” Teachers Kelly Agee and Beth Walker led the singing of ‘God Bless America.” Walker also sang The National Anthem. Beech Grove High School student Seth Rumler played “Taps.” Some students read narratives poems. Boy Scout Troop 108 presented the American flag and closed the ceremony. South Grove teachers and retired veterans Tamara Truman (SSG, retired) and Melinda Case (SPC) were the guest speakers.
At one point of the program, veterans were asked to stand and be recognized. I was proud to stand for the U.S. Army and the Indiana National Guard along with many veterans at the ceremony. Afterward, we were asked to stand in the hallway so that the South Grove students could shake our hands or give us a high five. Many of the students asked me, “Where is Stuart?”
It was also an honor for Stuart that they asked about him.