By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Veterans of the U.S. military have paid a high price to protect freedom, both for Americans and people around the world. Veterans Day has been set aside each November to honor those veterans, as well as those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives to protect freedom. Newkirk High School (NHS) students will recognize their service with a special program Nov. 11, and all area veterans are invited to attend and be recognized.
The event begins at 9:30 a.m. in Mark Branch Fieldhouse, and will be put on by members of the Newkirk Go-Getters 4-H club, along with NHS National Honor Society, FFA and band and choir members.
The origins of the event began in the spring, when Go-Getters 4-H members began working with the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame (OMHF) as part of a special program catalogue the experiences of veterans across the state.
“The OMHF approached us about interviewing veterans, because they wanted to interview veterans in the whole state, and we wanted to be part of that, and interview veterans in Newkirk,” said member Hannah Cross.
The students were able to locate 87 veterans in the community, and ultimately interviewed 57 veterans from all five branches – Army, Navy, Marine Corp., Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as the National Guard. The veterans spoke of their experiences in the military on camera at Newkirk Public Library throughout the summer months, wrapping up in August.
The participating 4-H members were excited to be a part of the special project.
“It was an honor to hear their stories, and about their time in the service, and the 4-Hers learned they made tremendous sacrifices, and are extremely humble, as well as they were eager to serve,” Cross said.
Their stories are planned to be part of the program Nov. 11, as the students will show a 15-minute video presentation taken from highlights of the interviews.
FFA members and National Honor Society members will seat the veterans. The choir will sing the National Anthem, and the band will perform a patriotic medley. The featured speaker will be U.S. Marine Corp. veteran John Pfeiffer.
There will be a reception following the program for all veterans and their families. All veterans in the area are invited to participate.
“All veterans in Newkirk are very important to the community, and we value what they have done for our country, so we invite them to this assembly and reception,” Cross said.
For more information, contact Newkirk High School at (580) 362-2388.