By Kelsey Keener
Iron County Today
Community members and veterans came together to take part in a Veterans Day Observance Program held in the Gilbert Great Hall of the R. Haze Hunter Conference Center at SUU.
Caleb Vadnais, Director of SUU Veterans Services, gave a brief introduction to the program before the SUU Army ROTC performed the Presentation of Colors.
Vadnais went over a few announcements and then Keith Mason, SUUSVA President, introduced keynote speaker retired Command Sergeant Major Michael Miller.
CSM Miller served in the US Army for 30 years and held several leadership positions. He began by thanking those who put together this event and the audience for participating.
CSM Miller referred to veterans as “giants,” and explained why they deserve to be called giants.
“Giants are those who strive make others, their community, their nation better,” he said. “For generation we have had giants step up, and raise their right arm to swear to defend our great nation. These giants are our veterans.”
After Miller’s speech, Pat Palmer and Kaylynn Jensen announced the winners of the 5th grade poster contest. This year’s theme for the contest was “What my country means to me.” Mia Hatch from Iron Springs Elementary won first place; Hannah Hewt from South Elementary won second place; and Taylor Dowse from Iron Springs Elementary was awarded third place.
Following the announcement of the poster contest winners, ROTC Cadet McKenzie Bennet, US Army Sgt. Keith Mason, and retired US Navy Capt. Ronald Lewis were introduced and honored for their significant service.
Georgia Smith of the American Legion Auxiliary announced the winner of the quilt raffle, the proceeds of which will help provide funds for those who want to participate in State Girls.
The Cedar City High School Symphonic Band performed God Bless America, and then the service hymns for each branch of the military. Veterans in the audience stood when their hymn was played and were applauded.
Vadnais thanked the audience for their service and support, and the TAPS was played to signal the conclusion of the program.