The sound of Taps pierced the frigid air outside Princeton City Hall on the morning of Monday, Nov. 11.
It was shortly before the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, and dozens of people gathered outside Princeton City Hall as a new American flag was raised up the flag pole. As Princeton VFW Commander Loren Papesh noted, “it’s a whole lot of elevens that add up to make for a significant day.”
A black and white flag honoring America’s Prisoners of War soon joined the Stars and Stripes outside City Hall.
The flags were presented to the City of Princeton and Princeton Mayor Paul Whitcomb by Papesh during an annual Veteran’s Day program in the city council chambers. It was the second program of the day, with Veterans being honored by students at North Elementary School.
Chaplin Al Roehl opened the city hall ceremony with a prayer and thanked the Lord for sparing our veterans from the grasp of our enemies.
Mayor Whitcomb noted that it is because of the veterans who served — and those who still continue to serve today — that we, as Americans, are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today.
“I thank you very much,” Whitcomb said.
American Legion Commander Jerry Whitcomb, making his 11th Veteran’s Day
appearance as commander, noted how the United States keeps sending our men and women to war overseas.
“Our objective, while they’re over there, should be to keep our country in your prayers and keep the men and women in your prayers, and then to take care of them when they come home,” Commander Whitcomb said.
Said Legion Auxiliary President Jean Jackson, “Thank you veterans and active military members for keeping us safe.”
State Rep. Sondra Erickson also shared a message with those gathered at city hall.
In thanking veterans for their service to our country she noted that Veteran’s Day is dedicated to all who answered the call to service, whether they are living among us or sleeping in valor.
Papash noted that Veteran’s Day is often confused with Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor those who died for our country, or military personnel who have since passed away. Veteran’s Day, Papash said, is a day set aside to honor all living veterans who have served our country.
“God bless you guys — and all veterans,” Papash said.
Earlier in the morning a couple dozen veterans were welcomed at North Elementary School where stdents honored those who had served their country. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts introduced each veteran and shared a short biography. The students also learned about flag etiquette and the importance of the salute.
“It was a really nice thing to see,” Legion Commander Whitcomb said.
“It’s important to teach kids to respect the flag because we have paid such a high price to keep that flag safe,” Whitcomb said.
Veteran’s Day festivities concluded Monday night with a special concert at the Performing Arts Center featuring patriotic music performed by the high school’s concert band, varsity band, and symphonic winds.