LaPoynor Independent School District hosted a very impressive Veteran's Day Ceremony Monday. The event was the 16th annual of its kind.
Over 40 Veterans were honored from all wars and years since World War II. Multiple WWII Veterans attended and one, in-spite of difficulty, stood every time he was asked, proud to stand and honor his flag, comrades and country.
LaPoynor Superintendent Dr. James Young spoke of the freedom we have in America to make goals and achieve them, to worship freely and to live the American Dream. He acknowledged that these are freedoms not found in many other countries, even in the present day.
“We are allowed to do these things and have these opportunities because of freedom, and that freedom is guaranteed and paid for by your service. Those that came before you and those that will come after you,” Young said. “I appreciate each and every one of you and the service you have given to me and every other citizen of this country. We hope you enjoy this small token of appreciation for the service you have given to us. It's been my honor to spend this time with you today. I hope the Lord will bless you all and keep you as you go forward.”
Students ceremoniously brought in the United States Flag, Texas Flag and one for each branch of the military. Veterans from each branch stood while their flag was placed. A most somber occasion was when the POW/MIA flag was carried.
Crystal Woodard, Secondary school principal extended gratitude to those in attendance and the opportunity to help the school instill love of country in the students.
“Thank you for coming out and supporting our dedicated men and women who have served our country so diligently. This program is one of the most special things we as LaPoyner High school put on each year, because it is a time for our students to see and meet true heroes. Many times in this world we are not able to expose our students to someone who has embodied the true meaning of honor, valor and courage. So on behalf of our school and our community, I want to thank each and every one of you for being here and above all being exemplary role models.”
Students then gave speeches honoring the local heroes. They thanked them for their sacrifices.
They spoke of the impact those who served have had on them.
“You have taught me to think of others above myself,” Taylor Wimberly said. “I see how much love you have for your country and fellow man. I hope that one day all of us will be able to take a stand and do what's right.”
Deputy Jodie Sorrells was the guest speaker. Raised in Ennis, he joined the United States Army, witnessed the events of Sept. 11 and served in the infantry. He also was a scout and a military police officer serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Afterwards he joined the Henderson County Sheriff's office in 2012 where he fulfilled several important roles. From Patrolman to crisis negotiator, he continued to serve his country. He currently is the schools resource deputy, and works with veterans to help them get benefits in his off time.
“First I want to say I'm honored to be asked to speak here today, I'm blessed,” Sorrells said. “It is your service and sacrifice that has been able to keep our country free. Raising your hand an enlisting in the US Military was a great and selfless act One that resulted in few guarantees. Military men and women know the risks that they accept so that others won't have to.”
The momentous occasion was closed out with each of the forty veterans being presented with a certificate and gift. Taps was played by Jonathan Gandy and the event was closed with a prayer.
Veterans and their families were then invited to a lunch in their honor.