Frederick High School hosted a Veterans Day celebration Nov. 10 at the Bomber Hangar.
The Frederick High School band played the National Anthem.
Students and faculty worked hard to present a program that would honor veterans of all branches of the United States Military. Prather Brown students sang “50 Nifty” and Frederick Elementary sang “God Bless America.”
The Frederick Middle and High School choirs performed “A Tribute to the Armed Forces,” a medley of each military branch’s official song, including the “Marine’s Hymn,” “Anchors Aweigh,” “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” “Semper Paratus” and “Wild Blue Yonder.” During the song, veterans from each branch in attendance stood during their portion of the song.
Frederick High School principal recognized staff and students who placed flags on veterans’ graves at the Frederick Memorial Cemetery last weekend.
Frederick High School student council members Maggie Blankenship and Haley Olsen recognized veterans in attendance from each branch of the military and read parts of their service records which included World War II era up to present day.
Frederick High alumnus Joe Harmison introduced Major General Marshall Scantlin.
“It’s always a pleasure to come home,” Harmison began. “If somebody didn’t get goosebumps with that choral rendition needs to have their pulse checked. Many of my most vivid memories growing up were listening to the World War II veterans. As I’ve gotten older, it dawned on me, never once do I remember one of them — and several of them were decorated war heroes — brag on themselves or what they’ve done. But always, were willing to step up and say something about what their brothers and sisters in arms have done…thank God there were men and women then and now who step between us to say if you want to harm my citizens, you have to come through me first.
“It’s a special privilege to be here with a friend of mine who for 42 years stood on that line between evil and us…while most of us were trying to figure out what we were going to do next Saturday night, Marshall enlisted in the National Guard. He quickly rose to the rank of Sargeant, went to OCS and was commissioned a second Lieutenant. After high school he went to Central State, moved on to Norman where he got a degree in Pharmacy. He practiced community Pharmacy for several years but that was just too placid for him,” Harmison continued. “He realized he really wanted to be a full time soldier so he goes full time in the United States Army, and does quite well…he decided he wanted to jump out of airplanes so he transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division.”
Harmison went on to list a few of the Major General’s accomplishments out of the many he’s received over the course of his career.
“Marshall has a bronze star for heroism in a combat zone, he has a legion of merit and meritorious service medal with five oak leaf clusters.”
Major General Scantlin spoke briefly on the reason for celebrating Veterans Day.
“As all of us know, or probably learn, Veterans Day is dedicated to all American veterans, both past and present,” Scantlin said. “This is a very special day. It’s a time to thank our veterans for their selfless service to our country. Of course that’s why we’re here today. Veterans Day is dedicated to all of our living veterans who served honorably in our armed forces here in the United States and overseas, both in peacetime and wartime. I’ve talked to many veterans over the years, and you know, there are a lot of veterans who don’t think they’re veterans.
“When I ask why, they say, well, I didn’t retire from the military and I didn’t serve in a combat zone. We need to spread the word folks, that they are veterans, whether you’ve spent one year, two years, six years; if you wore the uniform and you served honorably, you are a veteran. We need to make sure everyone understands that…Today we’re honored to have World War II veterans here.”
Scantlin also said that veterans just look at themselves as average citizens.
“If I was to ask anybody out here, ‘are you a hero?’ You know what they’re going to say? ‘No. Absolutely not.’ I guarantee I was no hero, and never have been…veterans don’t see themselves as special. We just do what we had to do. These average citizens here today that we call veterans did something to make the world a better place.”
Scantlin also discussed different wartime operations and told the audience to Google them if they weren’t familiar with them because it’s important to know that information.
“I have a challenge for the students and the teachers,” he said. “If you don’t know about the Bataan Death March, do you know about the Battle of Inchon, the Korean War? Do you know about the Tet Offensive, the Vietnam War…if you don’t know, find out. Ask a veteran. Veterans usually don’t like to talk about some of this stuff, but you need to ask them. Look around you. Look at all the history sitting before you today.”
He also gave some history on Veterans Day.
“World War I ended the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” Scantlin said. “So today we celebrate Veterans Day…Today we’re surrounded by veterans. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid. Veterans have given us freedom, have given us security, and it’s impossible to put a price on what the veterans have done for our country called the United States of America.
“Veterans are the face of freedom,” Scantlin concluded.
Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.
Major General Marshall Scantlin was in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Vietnam War. He spoke at the Frederick High School Veterans Day assembly held Nov. 10 at the Bomber Hangar.