Jeeps recognize service

By Nikki Blankenship - [email protected]

South Webster schools celebrated veterans with an assembly that taught students about the importance of patriotism.

The assembly started with an explanation of the origins of Veteran’s Day, explaining how it first began as Armistice Day and celebrated the end of WWI and the honored the soldiers who fought on foreign land. In 1954, the day changed to Veteran’s Day and now serves as a day of honor and remembrance of all who have fought in the wars of U.S. history.

Honored veteran Mike Bell spoke to the students of South Webster about service.

“Veteran’s Day is above all a day is an opportunity to celebrate the choice one makes to serve their country. For some it meant WWII, Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, the sand in the Middle East, the Cold War and other conflicts in which we’ve asked our military to serve over the years,” Bell stated.

He added that for many veterans, service has meant multiple tours at war and giving up their careers for deployment.

Bell encouraged students to volunteer to help a veteran or service members, including those in nursing homes. He added that there needed to be more encouragement for youth to serve. The speaker also asked veterans to share their stories with others.

Continuing in building up a desire for service and a pride of country in the students at South Webster, Paratrooper and combat veteran Sgt. Rick Bell (U.S. Special Forces) talked to the students about why it is important they honor the nation’s flag and keep sacred the National Anthem.

Sgt. Rick Bell remembered how important the flag was to him as a child. Patriotism was instilled in him early in his youth. He grew up wanting to serve.

“Since I was a little boy, I always wanted to serve in the military,” he commented.

He explained that patriotism is a love of one’s country that is so strong that one would sacrifice their life for it.

“It’s beyond me why people don’t stand for the flag,” the disabled veteran stated. “If I could stand I would, and I would salute my flag.”

Sgt. Rick Bell added that patriotism is something that is being lost in the United States. Though he spoke from a chair unable to walk due to a service-related accident, he pledged that he would still fight for his country from his chair.

He explained to South Webster that he has served in numerous countries and still believes that the U.S. is the best country in the world. His love of country was exemplified as he explained that after service, when he touched U.S. soil, he kissed the ground.

Sgt. Rick Bell has dedicated his life to spiritual service since the end of his military career. He has a doctorate in theology, pastors, works with youth and has spoken at churches in numerous communities. He equated a love of country to a love of God, as he spoke of sacrificing one’s life to save others.

The speakers were joined by various veterans throughout the community, who were honored on Friday morning. Boy and Girl scouts, the South Webster choir and the South Webster student body joined in honoring the veterans present during the assembly of recognition.

By Nikki Blankenship

[email protected]

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.