WHEATLAND – The annual observance honoring Vets on Veteran’s Day was held in Wheatland at the newly remodeled high school auditorium.
Students were excused from classes Friday morning for the honoring of those who were in service to this country.
Veterans Day in the U.S. is a national holiday held each year on Nov. 11. The day was set aside to honor veterans of the armed forces and those killed in the country's wars. The inaugural Veteran’s Day was held in 1919 on the anniversary of the 1918 armistice that ended World War I and was known as Armistice Day. Traditionally it is held that day because the armistice was signed Nov. 11 at 11 minutes after 11 a.m.
The local veterans were invited to their special day and began arriving at approximately 7:45 as students from the high school entertained them in the gymnasium with breakfast. From there the assembly in the newly renovated auditorium began at 9 a.m.
The honor guard brought the flags down the aisle and placed them on their mounts which were located on the stage. Principal Josh Sandlian then welcomed students and veterans to the special presentation. Sophomore Kacey Otero then took the stage and introduced Brian Boaz who was to be the special speaker.
Boaz, a social studies teacher at Wheatland High School spoke candidly about his time in the military.
Boaz spoke about how personal the military was to his family, having a grandfather who was a frogman in WWII and was captured by the Japanese. He then went on to talk about how his mom and dad were in Vietnam.
He spoke of the rigors of the military as well as the enjoyment he had (after he learned how to do sit ups).
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it,” Boaz said. “I don’t need November 11 to think about it. I loved the time that I was in the military. Absolutely loved it. And if anyone feels that they need a challenge in their life, or they feel an uncontrolled need to give back to society, I would recommend it.”
He also pointed out that only 0.73% of the population join the military and gave an impassioned plea to consider it as an option.
“Less than 1% of our country protects us,” he said. “That all that stands on that wall at night and makes sure that the blanket that you wear stays warm. That’s what we do. We’re supposed to do that. And right now we have brothers and sisters who went to this school, graduated from this school who are doing it. On the wall every night making sure we sleep well.”
As Boaz concluded, the Wheatland High School Band took the stage and played two patriotic songs that honored the veterans. As the band played the service marches from each individual branch of the service, those veterans in that particular branch would stand and the spectators applauded the men who stood on the wall and helped to keep America safe.