The parking lot at Centre was jam-packed Friday as many community members and students came together to honor veterans in an assembly in the school gym.
Bruce Hedstrom of Lost Springs was among the 30 or so veterans who introduced themselves and named their branch of service. He was in the Army Reserves.
“It makes me proud that the kids take an interest in us,” he said. “I think Centre should be proud of what they do for us.”
Pat Koons of Burdick served as a military policeman on an Army base in Texas. He was effusive in his praise for the event.
“What I get really cranked up about is young people putting this together,” he said. “I visited with some students. They are the generation coming on to lead our country. From kindergarten through high school, they all were involved. I thank them for this.”
Ron Hajek of Lost Springs, an Army veteran, appreciated the handouts given to veterans by students. Cards with two hands outlined on them and Life Savers attached had red hearts that read, “We want to give you a hand for serving our country. “
“It’s gratifying,” he said, “because when I came back from Vietnam, it was bad.”
Prior to the program, photos of students who have family members in the military were projected on a big screen.
The program opened with presentation of the colors by Centre Boy Scouts Jacob Bittle, Riley DeCou, Austin Ebaben, and Quentin Stuchlik, “Echo Taps” played by Kate Basore and Cecilia Rziha, and “The Star-spangled Banner” and “Pledge of Allegiance.”
The entire student body enthusiastically sang theme songs of each Armed Forces branch, after which various classes performed.
The audience joined students in singing several familiar patriotic tunes, ending with “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood.
The program was led by music instructor Amy Harms.