The Mount Gilead High School Marching Band stands at attention before entering the square in Mount Gilead.

Alberta Stojkovic | AIM Media Midwest

The public square in Mount Gilead was the scene of the Veterans Day observance on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m., the exact hour the Armistice was signed at the end of World War I.

Keynote speaker Ric Lyle talked about what the day means in history and for him personally. “Pride, honor and respect” were the words Lyle emphasized as he spoke of his appreciation for his father’s service in the military and thanked veterans for their service.

A podcast Lyle recommended was the Battles of the First World War and especially, “The last battle of the First World War.” He noted that the monument on the square has the names of veterans of World War I and a plaque with their names will soon be on the grounds of the square where they can be more easily read.

Lyle reminded veterans they are respected and appreciated for serving their country. He encouraged them to get involved in the community and make it a commitment to be of service here. Lyle asked those present to get to know a veteran and hear their story.

“Reach out and get to know a veteran today,” said Lyle, a retired chief master sergeant who served 33 years in the U.S. Air Force, which included serving during the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan.

Following Lyle’s speech, Mount Gilead High School freshman band member Liam Stalnaker played “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes as wreaths were placed at the World War I monument at the center of the square.

Wreaths were placed by Casey Shenefield, commander, and Marion Busse, auxiliary president of the V.F.W. Nelson E. Campbell Jr. Post 8054 in Mount Gilead; and Jim Bruns, commander, and Tiffani Wickline, auxiliary president of the AMVETS Post 87, Mount Gilead.

The Honor Guard and Firing Squad consisted of Morrow County members of the V.F.W. Post 8054 and the AMVETS Post 87. Members are Tom Graham, Bill Mills, Frank Moore, Steve Montell, Richard Braddock, Matthew Casler, Erick Shaffer, Gary Dilsaver, Mike McKinney, Jerry Jagger, Sam Beal, Al Forry, Brenda Harden, Gary Baker, Chad Remy, Don Broadwater, Sam Reeve, David Broadwater, Don Broadwater, Jr., Brandon Altstadt and Rob Thompson. Daniel Fricke is coordinator for services and events.

The Mount Gilead High School Marching Band, under the direction of Ross Runyan, played patriotic music selections, including the national anthem and ending the program with “Taps.”

Special thanks were given to the Mount Gilead Police Department for traffic control and Mount Gilead Public Library for supplying the sound system.

Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for The Morrow County Sentinel.