BULLHEAD CITY — Mohave High School and Bullhead City Middle School each honored local veterans on Thursday.
While students sat in the gym bleachers at MHS, local veterans and their families were invited to sit near the speakers and performers on the floor. Virtually all of the performers were students, including the MHS Choir. Its members sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Make Them Hear You,” from the musical version of “Ragtime.” Stephen Flaherty, one of the song’s creators, said it illustrates one’s need to speak up and be truthful:
“Go out and tell our story to your daughters and your sons
Make them hear you
Make them hear you.”
There also was band music and performances by the Air Force ROTC demonstration teams as well as declarations by speakers about how those in the military have personally sacrificed for the United States and its people.
Each veteran was a special guest at this event. A small number of them, however, were veterans of period that was spotlighted: World War II veterans.
“’It’s truly amazing they’re here with us today,” said Maj. (Ret.) Earl Davis of the Air Force ROTC, who highlighted what he described as the “resilience” shown by this group of Americans.
“It was an honor to serve after you” and to continue the traditions they established, he said.
Scott Anderson, a veteran who served in Desert Storm, said the veterans at the event “are all what we aspire to be.”
Four of them were at Thursday’s event were World War II veterans: Gerald Papke and Bob Krause, who both served in the United States Marine Corps., and Don Rice, who served in the U.S. Navy.
The fourth was Joe Lawrence, also of the U.S. Navy. His son, MHS Principal Steve Lawrence, asked his father and mother, Ellie, to stand. The younger Lawrence spoke proudly about his father being at Tokyo Bay when Imperial Japan unconditionally surrendered, putting an end to the war.
Lawrence also pointed out that from among the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, fewer than 500,000 are still alive.
“It’s important we never forget these stories,” he stressed.
This was the 11th student assembly for Veterans Day at the school.
Nearby, Bullhead City Middle School conduct its second veterans appreciation program.
Many of the veterans who attended the MHS ceremony also visited with students at the middle school. Active military and members of the Tri-State Military Moms also were guests of honor.
The brief assembly concluded with a receiving line as fifth- and sixth-graders were able to shake the hands of the veterans to thank them for their service.