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SRJH honors Veterans: Students salute Veterans at annual program

Caleb Woolsey and Ray Wareham at the San Rafael Junior High Veterans program.

Staff writer

For the 33rd year, San Rafael Junior High honored this country's Veterans with a program at the school. On Veteran's Day, the American Legion and Auxiliary members gathered at San Rafael to present the colors for the students.

Following the posting of the colors, Ferron Veteran Sam Singleton led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Teacher Cole Pitchforth introduced the video, The Rest of the Story, which told about the night Frances Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem. The San Rafael band then played the national anthem while the audience stood and sang the song.

Another Ferron Veteran, Ray Wareham, was the guest speaker for the program. As Pitchforth introduced Sgt. Wareham, student Caleb Woolsey approached the microphone with Sgt. Wareham. Woolsey was wearing Sgt. Wareham's Marine Corps uniform and stood straight and quiet during Sgt. Wareham's presentation.

Ray told of his being drafted three days before graduation from South Emery High School in 1943. He was allowed to wait 10 days before reporting so he was able to participate in graduation. He was sent to boot camp in San Diego, Calif. and from there he was sent to the South Pacific.

He told of being in the Mariannes Islands and being on Guam. It was in Guam where the Enola Gay, carrying the atom bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki took off. Ray spent the remainder of the World War II in the South Pacific.

Sgt. Wareham showed the students an M-1 rifle. He explained this was the type he had used during his service. He also showed the students a 1862 Peabody, .45 caliber from the Civil War era. Ray's grandfather had fought in the Blackhawk Indian War and he showed the students the Colt 45 his grandfather had used in the cavalry.

Pitchforth played a video and song by Dr. Sam about thanking the Veterans named Before You Go. This song is currently a popular song about not thanking the Veterans adequately who have served over the years.

The band then played a medley called Armed Forces on Parade which was comprised of each of the theme songs from the branches of the military. As each song was played, the Veterans from that branch stood.

Woolsey, still in Sgt. Wareham's uniform, closed the program by playing Taps on the bugle.

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