By Kay-Lynn Roberts -McMurray
The Ely Times
Proud to be an American is what you would hear from anyone who
participated in one or all of the Veterans Day events this past week honoring Veterans for protecting our country, and our freedom.
An assembly at the high school took place on Thursday with the White Pine High School Choir performing several patriotic songs, and finishing up with a stunning solo by Mark Pacheco. Richard Howe, spoke of how he was
drafted into the Vietnam war and he gave a very heartfelt, teary eyed speech that,mentioned the loss of his brother.
The impact of the assembly on the students could be felt thru the silence in the gymnasium.
Thursday began with a special ceremony at the Veterans Memorial at the Courthouse Park. This has become an annual event where on the 11th month, on the 11th day, and the 11th hour a very solemn tribute is given to Veterans living and deceased.
The Home Town Band played throughout the ceremony. Ken Curto, Commander, American Legion White Pine Post 3 and Chris Dailey, Commander VFW Post 3546 both gave a Veterans Day address to the public.
A wreath was laid before the memorial, a ceremonial Rifle Volley and Taps were performed and the ceremony ended with a closing prayer. Many moved on to the VFW that afternoon where a dedication of two new flagpoles and flags at the VFW facility took place.
The plan for these flag poles didn’t happen overnight, it took 2 years to fund raise and facilitate the installation of the poles. The White Pine War Memorial Foundation raised $10,000 for the materials and installation. The funds were raised by donations at the annual Golf Tournament held each year here in Ely during the 4th of July weekend. One pole stands 50 feett high and fly’s an 18-foot American Flag, better known as “Old Glory.
The other pole is 40 feet high, and fly’s the MIA-Pow flag. The White Pine War Memorial Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit corporation comprised of 11 Board Members; President, Dan Maestas, Vice President Terry Gust, Secretary Dave Huckaby, Treasurer Vance Walker, Brent Rose, Bobby Nichols, Scott Hase, Henry Blair, Chris Daily, John O’Flaherty and Mike Lemich. The flags shine brightly at night with the lighting that was installed beneath them. Dave Huckaby said “we wanted McGill to be able to see them, even at night”.
Saturday finalized the Veterans Day events with a dinner at the Elks Hall. A prime rib dinner was given to Veterans and 1 guest for free. Veteran James Beecher was the Master of ceremonies for the night while the White Pine High School Choir gave another breathtaking performance.All Veterans were honored for their service and sacrifice to the American people.