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Veterans Day ceremony held at Fieldcrest HS

Tuesday, November 11, 2003 Posted 11:00 a.m.
Major Dennis Baker

A Veterans Day ceremony was held at Fieldcrest High School Monday morning at 11:00. Featured speakers were Brian Hipes an instructor at Fieldcrest and Major Dennis Baker from the Air National Guard unit in Peoria. The ceremony started with the color guard presented by the local VFW and American Legion followed by the singing of the national anthem by Fieldcrest student Sarah Byrne. Then Fieldcrest student Nathan Glowacki introduced the speakers.

Mr. Hipes said that his family celebrated both the birthdate of the Marine Corps on November 10 and Veterans Day on November 11 since his father was a marine. He said that the family would have a big breakfast each morning and make a family event out of the two days. He recalled the comment about a famous athlete who stated that he deserved his salary of millions of dollars because it kept him away from his family for 50 days each year. Hipes said based on that premise, all of our soldiers who gave years of their lives to their country away from their family deserve billions of dollars each. He concluded by saying there is no price tag you can put on the freedom that our soldiers have preserved for us.

Major Baker, a Minonk native, has just returned from a 5 month tour of duty in Iraq. Baker said he didn't want to talk about himself. He said that he is one of the pilots who occassionally flies low over Minonk on training flights in a C130. He said being in 28 different countries and observing the life style of other peoples made him realize how fortunate we are to be living in the United States. He said we all owe a great deal of gratitude to the veterans who gave their time and their lives for our country so that we can enjoy our freedom. Baker concluded by telling the Fieldcrest High School students assembly that after spending 5 months in the desert sand of Iraq, the flat land and corn fields of Minonk looked really good.

Veterans and their spouses were seated to the right of the speaker's podium and were recognized in turn by the branch of military in which they served. The ceremony concluded outside where the taps were played by Wade Seggerman.