Neligh-Oakdale students picked Veterans Day to remind everyone, "We Are One Nation."
While looking for a different piece of music, teacher Pat Miller and her students stumbled on "One Nation," by Teresa Jennings, which was composed in 2009 for Music K8 Magazine.
"The message was so strong and resonant, I knew it was perfect for the program," Miller said.
While it fit well with Friday's Veterans Day program, it was well timed for the nation following Tuesday's historic election.
The American Legion-VFW Color Guard presented the colors to begin the program. The Neligh-Oakdale band played the national anthem, which was followed by Norm Larabee, Post 172 Chaplain, leading the audience in the pledge of allegiance.
Darryl Booth gave the welcome, and Larabee returned for a prayer and reading of “I Am Proud.” Miller’s kindergarten through sixth-grade students performed “One Nation.”
The Warrior Band and Choir performed several selections before Retired Air Force Col. Maple spoke to the audience about the historic significance of Veterans Day and the importance of supporting our veterans, especially as they deal with the emotions of having served.
“The reason some of that post traumatic stress happens is because of what they’ve seen,” Maple said. “We’ve been in the Gulf War now for over 16 year.”
A big part of that support is from the 3,000 veteran service officers in the U.S., he said. One of those key people, Maple said, is Ron Marshall, Antelope County’s Veteran Service Official.
“I’d like to recognize Ron Marshall for his 30 years of service to this county,” Maple said. “He started serving Neligh and Antelope County right after my uncle, Jerry Maple, quit the veteran’s office. He retired and Ron took over for him, so he served this community and surrounding communities for over 30 years. That’s pretty awesome.”
Maple added, “I note this from visiting with my uncle and other veterans in the area just how important he’s been to their health and well being. Because their injuries and disabilities don’t only affect the veterans, they affect the whole family, and many of you know that.”