‘For Our Heroes’
Students send off Honor Flight Vets
“I hope we can make you proud.”
Youngsville High School senior Faith Johnson thanked a group of four veterans on Friday at an Honor Flight Ceremony held in Warren Area High School’s auditorium.
Emil Bundy, Paul Hannold, Kenneth Sorensen, and Frank Tittio will travel from Warren County this morning to Washington, DC as part of the Honor Flight program to visit their respective national memorial. Past Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight trips have included visiting the Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials, The WWII War Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Air Force Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the U.S. Navy Memorial.
“For Our Heroes” was played appropriately and emotionally by the Warren Area High School band for the veterans in attendance. With band director Marcia White obviously a bit more emotional having a son currently in basic training. She made sure to also thank the veterans’ families in attendance as they have gone through the “service and sacrifice” with them.
“Every day you inspire another person to take the oath and fight for what they believe in,” added Johnson, who will major in Homeland Security at Slippery Rock University, and then enter the military.
The four veterans about to take the trip were also honored with gifts from county students. Brandie Fill painted scenes representing the flag raising at Iwo Jima, Cleo Kendrick drew a field of poppie flowers under an American flag with colored pencil, and Faith Johnson presented a short speech. Each vet got a copy of each of those to keep.
The program also included entertainment by the Youth Connection, singing by the WAHS madrigals, as well as a trip down the halls of WAHS while lined with students.
That was after being honored with powerful words from Jared Bupp, president of the WAHS History Club, teachers Joe McClellan and Misty Weber (who organizes the district’s involvement in the Honor Flight program and has a daughter in basic training, and Skyla Govier of the Blue Star Moms of Kinzua, whose daughter is among a long line in the military family.
Paul Bell, who served in the Army, 10th Special Forces, as well as a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, explained to students and the crowd that a veteran’s service is “for all of you.”
“You make a great sacrifice knowing you may not come home,” Bell said of all young men making the decision to serve your country. “Most of us go in for our country, but we end up fighting… to keep each other alive, so we can come home to see our loved ones.”