The Grove High School paid homage to United States Armed Forces veterans Tuesday morning in a special Veteran’s Day ceremony.
United States Marine Corps Corporal Dustin Thompson, an ’04 GHS graduate, was the keynote speaker for the assembly. Thompson’s tour of duty with the Corp saw him serve in Iraq at Anwar from July of 2007 to February of this year. The Marine is also a student at Oklahoma Wesleyan University studying pre-med and a bio-chemistry curriculum.
Thompson was joined by area vets and their spouses, some 150 strong, as well as the entire student body of the school. The GHS Composite Squadron, Color Guard, Choir, and Ridgerunner band all took part in the program.
“It’s good for our students to see all of the veterans at one time,” said GHS Principal Renae Dozier. “We were fortunate to have so many veterans be able to attend.
“We’re thrilled that we have so many veterans come in and take part. They’ve earned our respect and we owe them all a great deal,” Dozier said.
The ceremony was the result of a lot planning and work from many quarters.
“The entire school and community came together to help make this event possible and they all deserve our thanks,” said Dozier.
The opening ceremony of the assembly saw the parade of veterans enter the gymnasium to a thunderous standing ovation.
GHS student Tyler Linn gave the Call to the Colors, which were then posted by the Composite Squadron.
Senior Corey Swartz led the assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance and the GHS band performed the national anthem before an invocation delivered by Jessica Duggan.
Special readings were given by GHS students Jamie Fife and Christy Pressler.
The Ridgerunner Band and Choir performed special music entitled, “American Anthem,” “Each Time You Tell Their Story,” and “Salute to America.”
The proceedings were brought into sharp focus with a touching POW-MIA Ceremony performed by the Honor Guard and, later, with a moving rendition of taps performed by Jordan Wilhelm, Tyler Linn, and Jordan Teel.
The events were brought to a close with the Retiring of the Colors by the Composite Squadron and the parade of veterans out of the gymnasium to another standing ovation.