In a heartfelt tribute to the brave men and women who have served in the military, Central High School held its annual Veterans Day program on Friday, November 10, 2023. The school community came together to express gratitude, reflect on the sacrifices made by veterans, and celebrate the spirit of service and patriotism. The event featured a well-organized schedule that included musical performances, speeches, and moments of solemnity.

The program kicked off with a stirring prelude, "Inspiration Fanfare" by Adrian Sims, performed by the talented Central High School Band. This set the tone for a day dedicated to honoring the nation's heroes.

A poignant moment followed as the Sergeant at Arms from American Legion Post 343 and Veterans of Foreign Wars #1783, along with their respective auxiliaries, presented the colors. The atmosphere was filled with solemnity and respect as attendees witnessed the American flag being raised, accompanied by the National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," skillfully performed by the Central High School Band and Choir.

The involvement of students at various grade levels added a special touch to the program. The youngest members of the Central Kurious Kids Pre-School led the Pledge of Allegiance, demonstrating a sense of unity and patriotism. The choir students from 9th to 12th grade delivered a moving rendition of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," showcasing the power of music in conveying a patriotic message.

The program featured winners of the Patriot's Pen Essay, sponsored by the local VFW. Aubry Wroge, the 1st Place Winner, eloquently shared thoughts on the significance of Veterans Day. Additionally, the Boys State and Girls State Speakers, Roman Holland, Hunter Smith, and Holly Feist, provided unique insights from the younger generation, emphasizing the importance of continued remembrance.

Superintendent Tim Schochenmaier took the stage as the keynote speaker, offering a personal perspective on the impact of veterans within the Central Public Schools' community. His address highlighted the interconnectedness of education and service, inspiring students to appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans.

The Central High School Band continued to captivate the audience with the "Armed Forces Medley" by Andrew Balent. Veterans were invited to stand proudly as their respective branch anthems played, creating a touching moment of recognition.

A moment of silence, accompanied by the hauntingly beautiful performance of "Taps" by Britney Smith, allowed everyone to reflect on the sacrifices made by veterans throughout history.

Secondary Principal Rich Larson concluded the program with closing remarks, expressing gratitude to all attendees and emphasizing the importance of remembering and honoring the service of veterans.

The program ended on an uplifting note with the postlude music, "Epic Venture," providing a fitting conclusion to a day filled with emotion, reflection, and a deep appreciation for the veterans who have shaped the nation's history.

Central High School's Veterans Day program served as a powerful reminder of the importance of acknowledging and honoring the service of veterans. The thoughtful combination of music, student involvement, and diverse perspectives created an event that left a lasting impact on the entire school community.