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Respect, honor, integrity, and courage were among the strengths of veterans discussed by guest speaker Maj. Farron Fitzpatrick, of the Missouri Army National Guard, at the Van-Far R-I School District’s salute to area veterans.
“It’s not a celebration of victory,” Fitzpatrick said, referring to Veterans Day. “It’s a celebration of those who made victory possible.”
Van-Far hosted an 8 a.m. breakfast for area veterans Friday, November 9 prior to its annual Veterans Day ceremony.
The program started at 9 a.m. with a standing ovation for the veterans as they entered the high school gym under escort by students.
The Missouri Military Academy (MMA) Fusileers then presented the colors and performed their Expedition Drill, followed by guest speaker Maj. Fitzpatrick, who was introduced by senior Brian Kurz.
The Van-Far Chiefs Band, accompanied by the junior and senior high school choirs, then took the stage and performed the official song for each branch of the armed forces as members of each branch stood to be recognized during their respective branch’s song.
Superintendent Chris Felmlee closed the ceremony noting the establishment of Armistice Day — originally proclaimed in November of 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson and now nationally observed as Veterans Day in the United States — along with the values outlined in the Constitution of the United States, of which veterans have sacrificed so much to protect.