Bryce Crosby said he has witnessed the struggles families of armed forces members who go off to war have experienced.
Crosby, who was the guest speaker at the Veterans Day program held last week at the Memorial Hall in Rugby, is a Family Assistance Center specialist for the area, providing support and assistance to service members and their families. Crosby also an American Legion member and a retired member of the Army National Guard.
Crosby said in his speech that Veterans Day is the day all honor those who left their homes, families and lives to protect their country and maintain the American way of life.
Crosby said freedom can also be preserved by voting, public service and “speaking out against injustice.”
Crosby presented three missions for program attendees:
* To get to know area young men and women joining the Armed Forces and look after their families.
* To greet and ensure transitions of area armed forces members upon their return.
* And to not forget and to look after those who did not die, but did not come home from battle.
“[It is] a day for all Americans to remember why [veterans were] fighting,” Crosby said. “Let us walk forward tomorrow, honoring them.”
Remarks were given by Clarence Larson American Legion Post Commander Kirk Seaver and Pierce County Veterans Service Officer Ron Montonye. Vietnam veteran Don Abrahamson presented a veterans poem. Chaplain Josh Siegler gave both the invocation and benediction.
Honored guests at the event included area veterans Duane Baillie (WWII), Delmore Fandrick (Korean War), Mike Christenson (Vietnam War), Siegler (Operation Iraqi Freedom); Chuck Teigen (Army National Guard veteran); Tootie Fuller, representing the American Legion Auxiliary; and Tanner Johnson, representing the Sons of the American Legion. Special guests also included members of the Lambda chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.
Musical selections were performed by members of the Ely Elementary choir-under the direction of Andee Mattson-and the Rugby High School band-under the direction of Kari Hill. Tilman Hovland performed “Taps” after a moment of silence was held for deceased veterans, prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The advancing and retiring of colors was done by the American Legion Color Guard.
Artwork by Khloe Sobolik’s 2nd grade class at Ely Elementary done as a “thank you” to veterans were in Memorial Hall hallways as well as downstairs.
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