LaBelle High School’s Veterans tribute

Trumpet player Geronimo Casiano entertained the audience. (Submitted photo/Jo Coombs)

The National Honors Society presented a tribute to Veterans Day on November 10th at LaBelle High School with the LHS FFA cooking breakfast for Veterans and their families.

To start the program off, the NHS led the Pledge of Allegiance and Angel Michnowicz sang the Star Spangled Banner.

Mrs. Michelle Zimmerly, Counselor for 11th and 12th Grades, spoke about Veterans. She quoted John 15:13 of the Bible: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Mrs. Zimmerly spoke about her father, Justin Crews, and her feelings when her only son decided to join the military. Mrs. Zimmerly stated that her son was a great young man, but that the military had made him a better one. He is a medic in the Army, and has recently achieved another of the many goals that he has set for himself. He is in training to become a Green Beret.

Music flowed throughout the program with the LaBelle High School Chorus singing “America the Beautiful”, Alex Willoughby and Angel Michnowicz playing “God Bless the USA” on guitars, and Isaiah Asbed playing “Maple Leaf Rag” and “Seven Nation Army” on the piano. During the Brass Quintet’s performance of the Armed Forces Tribute, all Veterans were asked to stand during the song of their particular branch of service.

In the middle of all this music, Jessica Belcher read “A Veteran’s Tribute.”

Ms. K.C. Lynn told that her family has had at least one veteran in every generation since the 1800’s. Both of her grandfathers fought in WW1, and her father and three uncles fought in WW2. Cousins, an uncle and one of her brothers fought in Vietnam. The other brother served in the Coast Guard. Richard Lynn, (her late husband) served during the Korean Conflict. Ms. Lynn also has three nephews (brothers) serving in the Army now. But the one Veteran she spoke about the most was Yeoman 2nd Class Petty Officer Bernadine Stanley, her mother.

After high school, Bernadine went to work at the B-25 Bomber Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas, where she met and married Chuck Stanley. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and on her 20th birthday, (minimum age for women joining) Bernadine Stanley enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After basic training, she was assigned to the Naval Air Station in Glenview, Illinois. During her 3 years there, she was assigned to the Admiral’s staff where she served beside Lt. Gerald Ford, who later became the 38th president of the U.S. Bernadine was one of the first to join the newly created branch of the U.S. Naval Reserves called the WAVES.

Bernadine Stanley is a 94 year old veteran, a pioneer, a wonderful mother to 10 kids, and states that she has never once regretted her service to her country.

With such a great tribute to Veterans having been done, there was only one way to close the program. The beautiful and lonesome sounds of “Taps” played by Geronimo Casiano caused tears to slide down the cheeks of not only some Veterans, but others also in the standing audience.

Jo can be reached at cbnews@newszap.com

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