By ESTHER MCCOY
Harrison County Sheriff Ronald “Joe” Myers told the pupils from Buckeye West Elementary School that he was speaking from the heart in his talk about Veterans Day. He spoke about taking his dad, a World War II veteran who fought in the Pacific Theatre, to see the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., an utmost desire that the former farmer had for a long time.
Before and after the war the Myers family had lived on and operated a farm raising cows. Joe said they didn’t travel much due to the farming, so when his dad expressed a desire to go to the Capital to see the memorial dedicated to his war, he obliged. “It was just my dad and I, a soldier who had suffered a heart attack sometime before he expressed his wish. When my dad saw the memorial he started crying, and my dad was not a person to do this. So I asked him what was wrong,” the sheriff told the youth.
“It is so beautiful and so wonderful that they would honor us this way. So many didn’t come back; they lost their lives defending our flag,” his dad explained.
“I never saw him cry but he was doing so for all his buddies and those he didn’t know who never came back. It upsets me when there are those who do not respect the flag or understand what it meant to those who fought for it and our country. I was so glad to share that time with my dad. It showed me that we have to get back to loving our flag,” he confessed.
“If you see someone from the military, shake their hand and tell them you appreciate their service. They fought for us, we need to acknowledge this to them”, he told the students from kindergarten through sixth grades, their parents and members of the Adena Legion Post 525 who took part in the program.
The fifth and sixth grade chorus sang “God Bless the USA” and everyone stood at the last two strains of “God Bless the USA.” The fourth grade played “America the Beautiful” on their recorders and the sixth grade band played “My Country Tis of Thee.”
To start the program the legion honor guard presented the colors, with Bernie Jeskey, squad commander, directing the presentation. Lori Wentworth was dressed in her camouflage uniform and took part in presenting the colors. Lucas Parsons, principal, welcomed the guests and thanked the legion for their program. Dirk Harkins is the legion commander in charge of the program..
Madison Zeroski and Adam Blackwell played saxophones for the “Star Spangled Banner. Readings were given by Kirsten Morgan, fourth grade; Maddix Richter, fifth grade; and Chad Merkel, sixth grade.
Jason Dean played “TAPS” and the rifle salute was led by Jeskey, with the legion firing squad. Parsons invited the legion members to stay and have coffee and cookies after the program.