Hillsboro Community Pauses To Remember Local Veterans

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In the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the community of Hillsboro once again paused to remember local heroes.

The light dusting of snow and freezing temperatures pushed this year's ceremony from the Hillsboro Veterans Memorial inside the gym at Hillsboro Junior High School.

Master of Ceremonies and Marine Rick Robbins encouraged the small crowd gathered to remember some of this country's first veterans and the harsh conditions they fought in at Valley Forge during the American Revolution.

In welcoming residents, Robbins honored Gold Star mother Sally Nation, as well as General Willie Cobetto, who were both in attendance at the program.

Led by Commander Lee Cerny, the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard presented the colors. Other members of the Color Guard included Roger Myers, Kenny Marsh, Command Sgt. John Gusick, Robert Fuehne, Pat Frisbie and John Kieslar. The Joint Armed Forces Color Guard is comprised of members of the American Legion Post 425 and the VFW Post 1306.

Following the posting of the colors, Hillsboro Commissioner Michael Murphy led the Pledge of Allegiance. He honored several local servicemen and women who have made an impact in his life. 

"Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves," said Murphy, quoting one of the country's founding father's Dr. Joseph Warren.

The Rev. Ralph Ward led both the invocation and benediction, praying for veterans and active duty military and their service to this country. 

Montgomery County Clerk and Recorder Sandy Leitheiser and CJ Dyas led both the singing of the national anthem and "God Bless America."

Robbins gave a brief history of Veterans Day, which was originally called Armistice Day. It started after the treaty to end World War I was done at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.

He also asked all veterans and active duty military in the audience to stand and be recognized. They were given a round of applause.

Hillsboro Superintendent David Powell said this year, every student at Hillsboro High School wrote an essay on "What Makes America Great," and teachers and administrators chose two to be read at the ceremony.

Juniors Kahla Fry and Brook Ozier read their essays. Fry is the daughter of Ashley and Tracy Goodwin. Ozier is the daughter of Katie Ozier and the granddaughter of veteran Kenny Carlock. Each received a gift card from the Hillsboro Veterans Memorial Committee for their efforts.

"Many men and women have risked their lives," Fry said. "And thanks to them, I can be me and live the American dream."

Both essays talked of the freedoms Americans have and the brave men and women who make that possible.

"Freedom makes America great," Ozier wrote. "Without our veterans, America would not be here."

The ceremony concluded with a rifle salute and the playing of Taps by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard.

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