RACINE — Veterans were honored during Southern Local School District’s annual Veterans Day Program on Wednesday in a virtual event streamed live on the Southern Athletic Boosters Facebook page.
For the past 15 years, a Southern veteran has been chosen as the program’s honoree. Before announcing the 2020 recipient, Supt. Tony Deem read the names of past honorees that included Ralph Triplett, Eugene Jeffers, Tony Deem, George Lawrence, Spencer Carpenter, Delbert Smith, Kenny Theiss, Charles W. Bush, Paul Beegle, Tom Diddle, Tom Wolfe, Bill Cross, Dale Hart, and Alan Graham.
Deem presented a bio of the 2020 recipient, Denny Evans.
‘This year’s honoree was a 1966 graduate from Racine High School. He received his Uncle Sam Draft papers in January 1968.”
He said the recipient attended basic training and then trained on helicopter repair before being deployed to Vietnam, where he served one year. During his service he earned several honors that included medals and ribbons.
After finishing his Army career, he returned to Meigs County where he worked, raised a family, became a member of the Racine American Legion ,served on the Meigs County Veterans Service Commission, and has been a member of the Southern Local School Board for 32 years.
Highlights of the program included a welcome by High School Principal Daniel Otto following the posting of colors by Racine American Legion Post.602.
The “National Anthem” was performed by the Southern High School Band under the direction of Southern Band Director Audra Wilkinson, and assisted by Chad Dodson and David Maxson.
Student Council President David Shaver led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was followed by a poem read by Dodson. National Honor Society Officers Natalie Harrison, Abby Rizer, David Shaver, Caelin Seth,and Kristin McKay delivered Veteran’s Day quotes.
“What It Means to be a Veteran” was the title of Southern teacher Jordan Pickens’ speech, and guidance counselor Russ Fields acknowledged Southern Alumni Veterans and veteran staff members.
The program closed with a Roll Call in memory of former students of Racine and Southern that made the ultimate sacrifice, and included a reading of their names by Deem and Ed Baker as student Westin Smith tolled a bell following each name.
“Taps with Echo”, performed by Claire Bradbury and Jimmy Powell ended the ceremony, and the Colors were retired.
The program can be viewed on the Southern Athletic Boosters Facebook page.
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.