“Since 1776, no single generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of defending and protecting our fundamental freedoms,” Kim Krull, the president of Butler, said, welcoming those in attendance to today’s Veteran’s Day Ceremony. “More than 48 million Americans have proudly worn our country’s uniform and served in the armed forces. And more than 1.1 million Americans just in the twentieth century alone have perished for protecting these freedoms.”
Counselor Nancy Hamm then welcomed Walter Clayton, deputy chief of police, who was the keynote speaker.
“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the fight in WWI ended in 1918,” Clayton said. “Due to the conclusion…, the war to end all wars, Nov. 11 became the universal recognized celebration of the United States.”
Clayton started at Butler nearly two years ago, and he is a 22-year retired U.S. Air Force veteran.
“Over those 22 years I have experienced a lot of lot of ups and downs, a lot of trials and tribulations, a lot of places that I have been able to see, places that I have had to serve in to defend this nation…,” Clayton said.
The retired veteran spoke was already serving in Iraq on a courier mission for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and U.S. Air Force when he first learned about 9/11. “The freedom that we enjoy as Americans is extremely special and unique and that is the way and why we must defend,” Clayton said. “… it is important to remember that veterans are defending us 364 days of the year, 24 hours a day. The heroism that has been demonstrated time and time again by veterans in the American Revolution, the war on terrorism, and sometimes unnoticed by those of us to include military veterans as well who enjoy the security of the sacrifices that have been provided. Now it is the time not only to honor those veterans who have fought for, and are currently fighting, our freedom, it is also time for us in our own lives to take part in protecting this freedom.”
The deputy chief of police explained that the country can protect this freedom by voting, volunteering and teaching about what it means to be Americans.
Hamm then welcomed two student veterans to speak who spoke of their service, and one in particular described how Butler has made the transition from military to school rather easy.
The Veterans Day Ceremony event was sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Veterans Advisory Board, and it took place today from 11 to 11:30 a.m. In Andover.