WHS & Bishop Neumann HS Join Forces to Honor Veterans at Annual Assembly
2007 Veterans Day Assembly Held November 8
On Thursday, November 8, Wahoo High School joined forces with Bishop Neumann High School for the first time to honor local veterans at the 2007 Veterans Day Assembly.
As veterans from Wahoo VFW Beaver-Bartek 4502 and American Legion Post 82 posted the colors, the WHS and Neumann Concert Bands, directed by Eric Snyder and Joann Couton, played “America”.
After Wahoo Middle School eighth grader Emily Spicka led the audience in the recitation of “The Pledge of Allegiance,” the bands united again to play “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
The WHS Drama I Class, under the direction of Diane Reece, presented selections from “War Letters,” an historical anthology of poignant letters written by war veterans to loved ones at home.
“Since these are actual letters, this was a very personal tribute to our veterans and their families,” said Reece. “The letters are very powerful.”
The bands then honored each branch of the military by playing the hymns of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines. While each branch’s theme song was played, veterans belonging to that group stood to be recognized.
“It was really an honor to direct the bands, especially with both the schools being represented. I hope it continues,” said Snyder.
“The combined music groups were unbelievable,” said Honors American Government Instructor and Close Up Sponsor Ryan Mueller. “They did a wonderful job paying respect to our nation's brave men and women in the armed forces.”
The WHS Blue and Gold Choir and Bishop Neumann High School Choir, directed by Audra Barrick and Brian Botsford, also united to sing “God Bless the U.S.A.”
This year Nebraska State Treasurer and U.S. Navy veteran Shane Osborn shared his story with students and Wahoo community members gathered to celebrate the day.
“This [the Veterans Day assembly] is exactly what you envision when you’re in some pretty ugly, bad places,” said Osborn. “Events like these help remind you it’s all worthwhile.”
“They sacrificed a lot for their country,” Osborn said. “They taught me the true meaning of service above self, about serving a higher cause.”
Osborn also shared his experiences flying surveillance missions over Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, South America and in the Asian Pacific for the “World Watchers” Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One.
Osborn was the topic of world news when on April 1, 2001, a Chinese fighter jet collided with his plane, sending it into an inverted dive. Osborn managed to regain control of the craft and landed safely on the Chinese island of Hainan, saving 23 crewmates. After 11 days of captivity, Osborn and his crew were released. Osborn was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism and Extraordinary Achievement in Flight.
Each year the ceremony is sponsored by WHS Close Up students and their sponsor.
“Our annual Veterans Day Assembly was a great experience for the entire community to come together to celebrate our nation's veterans,” said Mueller.
Student speakers included juniors Matt Myers, Benishia Siemer, Jacob Anderson and Tyler Brunsting.
The assembly concluded with a moment of silence while Bishop Neumann senior Josh Steger played “Taps.” The assembled Colors were then retired by the veterans during a final performance of the bands playing “America.”