By Portia Williams
RUSSELL, Ky. — Russell High School (RHS) Air Force Junior ROTC (JROTC) will host a Veterans’ Day ceremony to honor local veterans at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, in the Russell High School gymnasium. Lt. Colonel Terrance Maggard, Senior Instructor of RHS JROTC, said his desire is that the ceremony will serve as a meaningful learning experience for the students.
“This is an annual program that the Russell High Air Force JROTC puts on each year. We do this annual Veterans Day Ceremony to allow the veterans to come in and be honored, and at the same time, to allow the students to get to know the veterans,” Maggard said. “The big thing that I want the kids to learn from this is the fact that our veterans don’t go overseas and protect our freedom, and then come home and leave everything overseas, but they bring it home with them.”
He said this year’s program will also include some special recognition of Larry Morris, the Marine who presented the American Flag to be raised at the Cuban Embassy.
“There were three Marines that went down to the Cuban Embassy that lowered the flag 54 years ago. They took an American flag down, and they are opening up the Havana Embassy, and one of those three veterans, Larry Morris is going to be at our ceremony on Friday,” he said. “He (Morris) has a son that is a teacher here at Russell High School, and he has a daughter here in the middle school. We are going to honor him for going down there, and for being a part of that ceremony.”
Korean War Veteran, Jerrel Hamilton will also be among the veterans to be honored.
“This year, we found out that we are going to be able to give Jerrel Hamilton, a Korean War Veteran his high school diploma that he deserved 63 years ago, and was the class of 1952, but he didn’t get it because he went off during his senior year to war,” he said. “So we are going to present Mr. Hamilton with his Russell High School Diploma from the class of 1952.”
Musical selections accentuating each branch of the Armed Forces will be performed at the ceremony.
“We always have the bands play all of the armed force medleys, all of the branch songs and the veterans will stand up during their branch song,” he said. “We have a choir that also sings during the ceremony.”
Additionally, the program will also consist of honoring the World War II Veterans
“The War ended 70 years ago, and many of these veterans are 90 years old plus, and two of them will be there to speak. We are basically going to introduce all of the World War II Veterans, and allow them to answer questions. But, I have a couple of them that I am going to have to speak directly to the students about what it was like in World War II. I have one Army Veteran from the European Theater, and one Naval Veteran from the Pacific Theater.”
All veterans are asked to arrive at the ceremony at 1 p.m. to be seated. For more information or to RSVP contact Lt. Colonel Maggard 606-836-5333.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.