Voting honors nation’s principles


Among numerous events honoring Veterans Day in Highland County this year, a program was held Friday in the Hillsboro High School gym for students and local veterans.

Members of the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard presented the colors to kick off the event.

Attendees joined in the pledge of allegiance, and the national anthem was performed by the Hillsboro High School Symphonic Choir.

Hillsboro High School senior Peyton Aber was recognized during the event for enlisting in the U.S. Army. He will report to Fort Sill, Oklahoma June 24, 2024 for basic training. He will be trained as a medic at Fort Sam Houston following basic training.

Local military veterans who attended the assembly were also recognized, and the service songs for each branch of the U.S. military were performed by the Hillsboro High School Band.

Stephan Murray, a Vietnam-era army veteran from Lynchburg, served as the guest speaker for the event.

He spoke to the crowd about the meaning of patriotism. Murray said serving in the military is not the only way to demonstrate patriotism. He said patriotism can be demonstrated by displaying the flag properly, respecting the national anthem, and voting.

“Voting is one of the best ways to honor the principles upon which this nation was founded,” said Murray. “You can also visit a national park because we have many beautiful places to visit and explore.”

Murray said it is important for people to recognize the sacrifices made by military service members. “Because there are sacrifices,” he said. “There’s times away from home. There’s time away from family and friends, and there are times one’s in harm’s way.”

Murray said those sacrifices help to make America a great county. “There will always be disagreements among groups, yet one constant will always be that regardless of skin color, religious belief, or ethnicity, we live in the greatest free country in the world,” he said.

The Hillsboro High School Symphonic Choir closed out the program with a rendition of “Flanders Field”.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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