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Veterans honored at HHS tribute
hoi kl candlelighting ceremony
Holding a touching Veterans Day program on Monday, the Hoisington Middle and High School Kays Club honored veterans for their service. Abi Rziha, center, and Ashley Lockwood, right, light candles for soldiers who graduated from Hoisington High School that made the ultimate sacrifice, beginning with World War II. Master of Ceremonies Susan Lowry reads off each name. - photo by KAREN LA PIERRE

HOISINGTON — In a moving Veterans’ Day Program, Hoisington Middle and High School Kays Club honored veterans past and present Monday morning.
The ceremony opened with student Jakob Breit posting the colors followed by the pledge of allegiance and singing of the National Anthem.
“We hope you will enjoy the day as we salute our veterans,” said Jaci  Schremmer, HMS Kays president.
HHS Principal Meg Wilson spoke next. She thanked the veteran’s for their sacrifices and told them society values their sacrifice. “Today, our troops continue to make the ultimate sacrifice.”
HMS and HHS choir sang patriotic songs.
Each branch of the military’s theme song was played, including for the  Coast Guard, Army,  Air Force, Marines, and the Navy. Each person who served in that particular branch stood during the playing of the theme song.
Band instructor Sean Keasling played patriotic melodies on saxophone.
Master of Ceremonies Susan Lowry thanked the families of veterans who waited and prayed while their loved ones were in the service.
Hoisington resident Rick Nulton spoke, leading off with the enlistment oath. “Ido solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
“Our soldiers deserve compassion, educational opportunities and most of all respect,” he said. Nulton said that he was not a veteran, but had relatives who were veterans.
Students Ashley Lockwood and Abi Rziha lit candles for those who had graduated from HHS and who died in service, beginning with World War II.
Lowry read off the names of the soldiers.
Next, all stood for the playing of taps and the retirement of colors.
Students exited the auditorium and lined the hallway to the gym, clapping as the veterans passed by. The veterans and families were served lunch.
Veterans said that they appreciated the service. “It was an amazing program,” said C.J. Pata, mother of Michael Pata. Michael just graduated from HHS and has enlisted in the Army National Guard.
The ceremony ties into the school’s character education program. Vignettes of those who have received the Medal of Honor are being studied.