NASELLE - The students and staff of the Naselle-Grays River Valley School District presented a Veterans Day program on Friday, Nov. 9, to honor the veterans who have served in the armed forces of our country.

Students, faculty members, members of the Legion Auxilary, and guest speaker, teacher Daryl Dobry presented the program to the assembled students, approximately 35 honored veterans and their families, about a dozen other community members, and school staff.

Associated Student Body President Sylvia Herrold welcomed the audience to the program. The combined Naselle Middle and High School Bands played the National Anthem followed by a presentation by student Conor Smith.

Guest speaker Daryl Dobry addressed the group "in honor of those who have served in the armed forces of our country, both past and present." Dobry briefly described his and his family's military service, which has been very important to his family for many years.

Dobry went on to say, "This Sunday, Nov. 11, will be the 88th observance of Veterans Day." He explained how the day had originally been called Armistice Day to celebrate and honor the end of World War I. He described how that day became a federal holiday in 1938. In 1953, a bill was introduced in Congress to rename the day Veterans Day in honor of veterans of all U.S. wars. Since 1954, Nov. 11 has been known as Veterans Day.

Dobry described how World War I was called "the war to end all wars" but, of course, it was not. The U.S. entered World War II just 23 years after the WW I Armistice had been signed. Five years after the end of those hostilities, we found ourselves involved in a war in Korea. A few years later, the Vietnam War began. In 1983, American troops went into Granada and in 1989 into Panama. In 1991, the U.S. fought in the first Gulf War in Iraq. In 1994-95, American troops were sent into Bosnia and then to Kosovo in 1999. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D. C. followed and the U.S. sent American troops to Afghanistan. In 2003, the Iraq War started and, "we still have thousands of men and women fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq," Dobry said.

"It is estimated that there are about 25 million veterans in the United States today. We need to remember and support the veterans of the current wars as well as our veterans of past wars.

"In closing, I would like to remind each of you to thank a veteran for their service to our country. Not just on Veterans Day but every day of the year. Let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifices they have made for your country.

"Thank you and God bless our country and our troops," Dobry concluded.

Following Dobry's presentation, the band played "America the Beautiful." The attending veterans were given recognition by teacher Lori Dearmore and principal Karen Wirkkala. Members of the Legion Auxilary presented awards to students who won the poster and essay contests. Principal Wirkkala gave some closing remarks before the veterans and others adjourned to have refreshments while having the opportunity for conversation with students of the fifth grade class.

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