Maj. Gen. Ron Mason speaks at Pineville on Veteran’s Day

In a show of patriotism and adoration for service men and women, Pineville High School honored veterans with a celebration in the Pineville gymnasium on Monday.

Alex Cox opened the program with a greeting and small prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance recited by the kindergarten class.

The PHS band played the National Anthem prior to the first speaker, Colt Wilson. The band performed the Salute to the Armed Forces in which all veterans stood, prior to having their second speaker, Raylee Rutherford.

The Pineville first grade class performed Grand Old Flag, followed by the second grade performance Thank You Soldiers. Pineville’s third graders Levi Hawk, John Hayes, Brody Fugate, Elijah McDermott, Charlie Nierengarten and Jacklynn Patrick performed the recitation of Thank You Veterans.

Flanders Field was performed by fourth grade students Lane Brigman, Kordell Partin, Madison Johnson, Jada Boateng and Madelyn Smith.

Speaker Marcus Yates spoke before the PHS band paid tribute to the veterans of WWII with “To Honor, Remember and Thank”.

High school students Isaac Taylor, Haley Phipps, Vian Steele and Kaden Handshoe spoke about the Remembrance Table and how each item on the table represented something different in remembrance of PoWs and MIA soldiers. Taps was then played by the band to remember those who have fallen.

Following taps, Aurelia Obenshain brought the house down with her performance of America the Beautiful. Alex Cox then introduced guest speaker Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Ron Mason.

Mason started his speech by saying, “How about those Mountain Lions? Do they know how to put on a patriotic program, or what?” to which a loud applause erupted. He then continued by saying, “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling inspired today. I’m proud to be an American, and I’m proud to be in Pineville, Kentucky.” He then thanked everyone who helped organize the Veterans Day program as well as everyone for showing their support for veterans.

Maj. Gen. Mason referred to every veteran in attendance as “a distinguished guest” as he unified the room with words of brotherhood and patriotism. He then went on to say, “It is your service and sacrifice that has kept this great nation safe and free. No matter which branch of service, which job path you chose or how many years you served, raising your hand in service to this country is a brave and selfless act.”

“It’s a choice that not many people make,” he said. “But it has resulted in a few guaranteed freedoms which were hard fought. We don’t always have those guarantees. You’re not guaranteed to get a job you want, you’re not guaranteed to be stationed where you want and you’re not guaranteed to come home. To make the choice to serve this nation, makes you a hero.”

Following Maj. Gen. Mason’s speech, Khloe Knuckles took to the podium to speak. She was followed by Traveling Soldier Hannah Robbins. Alex Cox closed the ceremony and thanked everyone for turning out to the program. In his closing remarks, he again expressed his gratitude for this nation’s veterans.