Students, community members, and of course veterans were in attendance Friday morning in the Perry High School Performing Arts Center for the 20th annual Veterans Day celebration.
The program began with the posting of the colors and veterans procession with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Color Guard, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The high school select choir then sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The master of ceremonies was Mike Powell, who welcomed everyone to the program and gave a history of the holiday. The choir then sang “A Tribute to the Armed Services,” and the veterans in the audience stood to be recognized during their military branch’s hymn.
Gene Peel of the Perry Historic Preservation Commission then gave a special presentation about the Wilson Family. They were a family in Perry who sent five sons to World War II, with three of them losing their lives. One of the brothers, Dale Wilson, has a twin sister Darlene, who is still living and was able to attend the ceremony. That was followed by a reading of “Band of Brothers” by Mayor Jay Pattee and a special video presentation of all the citizens of Perry who have ever served in the military.
The keynote speaker was Mike Kelley, the Commander of the American Legion Post 85. He told stories of camaraderie from his time in the Vietnam War. Kelley was followed by a musical performance by Jay and Jan Pattee of “Turn, Turn, Turn,” a reading of the poem “In Flanders Fields and the Veterans Day Poppy” by American Legion Boys State representative Jacob Prombo, and three-time All-State Choir participant Breanna Penenger performing “Danny Boy.” The program concluded with another video presentation of the veterans buried in Violet Hill Cemetery.
Powell then gave closing remarks and two high school trumpet players played “Taps” before the colors were retired.