Area towns, schools to hold Veterans Day ceremonies

Several area communities and schools are planning ceremonies to continue the 98-year tradition of remembering those who served the country in uniform on Nov. 11 ? first as Armistice Day, and then, since 1954, as Veterans Day.

?It?s that time of the year again to pay tribute to our veterans, and as long as we?re able to be here in our little part of the world, we?re going to honor those who serve,? said Paul Corbin of the Lockridge Veterans Association, adding that honoring local veterans with the ceremony is the best way for the town to do its part.

Lockridge?s Veterans Day ceremony, hosted by the local veterans association, is Saturday morning.

The honor guard will meet at the Lockridge Community Center at 7:45 a.m. to march to the cemetery at about 7:50 a.m.

The ceremony at the cemetery will include raising the flag, singing of the national anthem by the Calvary Baptist Men?s Group, and the firing of a volley of rounds followed by taps, the bugle call for ?lights out,? which is also sounded at military funerals.

After dismissal, the group will return to the community center for fellowship, including coffee, tea, juice and pastries, before the Veterans Day program, with its continuing theme ?The Veteran: A Lasting Tribute.?

The program begins at 8:45 a.m., with the opening reading and prayer.

The opening reading was written several years ago, but Corbin said it still holds true today: ?In a world tormented by tension and the possibilities of conflict, we meet in quiet commemoration of an historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible,? he recited.

Following prayer, Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action will be recognized by a moment of silence and ?America At War? will be presented.

The ceremony will conclude with the posting of the flags and taps.

For more information, contact Corbin at 319-696-2760.

Area school districts are hosting Veterans Day assemblies open to the public.

Van Buren High School will have a Veterans Day assembly at 10 a.m. Thursday in the high school gymnasium. The public is invited, with veterans welcomed as special guests. Following the theme ?Respect the Cost of the Rights to Free Speech and the Right to Protest,? featured speaker Sgt. 1st Class Rob Radosevich will address respecting the right to protest, but how ?taking a knee? might not be the best way to get a message across. Radosevich is a recruiter with the National Guard. He works out of Keokuk, and Van Buren High School is in his area of responsibility.

Pekin Community School District will host a Veterans Day assembly at 9 a.m. Friday in the high school gymnasium. The program will include the student-led Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the national anthem, teacher Brent Blakely and his TAG students? presentation ?What is a Veteran,? and senior Maci Gambell will speak about the Wreath Across America project that is raising funds to place holiday wreaths on veterans? graves.

Pekin superintendent and longtime Iowa Army National Guard officer Dave Harper will be the featured speaker. Harper is a 1990 Fairfield High School graduate who enlisted into the 224th Engineer Battalion, Iowa Army National Guard, during his junior year in high school. He is a veteran of the Iraq War, serving there from August 2004 until January 2006.

Pekin?s assembly also will include the presentation of quilts of valor to two veterans, military-themed music, a thank you to all service personnel and taps.

Cardinal Community School District is hosting a Veterans Day assembly at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the high school gymnasium.

Fairfield High School Auditorium will be the site of Fairfield?s American Legion Post 47?s annual Veterans Day program at 10 a.m. Saturday. Details were printed on the front page of Tuesday?s Fairfield Ledger.