Annual Veterans Day Program draws crowd at BMHS
Barlow - This year’s annual Veteran’s Day Program put on by Ballard Memorial High School is sure to be long remembered for not only its signature lighting of candles for each of the fallen heroes from Ballard County, but also for the unique twist in the keynote address.
Tim Bertram of God’s Graffiti gave the keynote speech without uttering a word. Instead, he stood in front of a black canvas and proceeded to paint a picture while music was playing in the background.
The audience sat quietly as Bertram went from one side of the canvas to the next, using only light blue to paint around the emerging silhouettes of five soldiers. Each of the soldiers portrayed a different aspect of the life of a soldier.
Throughout the course of a few short songs accentuated by the playing of Franklin Delanor Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation and then the addresses about Iwo Jima and the advance into Berlin, Bertram’s speech told the tale of soldiers coming together for one cause. That cause revealed itself as Bertram’s final actor began to appear on the canvas. Bertram’s final touches with white paint finally revealed a Bald Eagle, with its keen eye surrounded by the five soldiers.
With some more strokes of his paintbrush, Bertram splashed red, white, and a darker blue over the entire canvas that was the United States and the men and women who serve to protect its rights in and out of battle.
In concluding his speech, Mr. Bertram turned to the audience and saluted with pride for having been able to use his talents to play a part in the lives of the veterans that he was able to capture on a black canvas in the gymnasium at Ballard Memorial High School.
As has become tradition at BMHS, several entities within the school worked to put the Veteran’s Program together. The high school band opened the program by playing “Psalm 42”, and the 6th Grade Choir sang “Fly High, You Grand Old Flag” followed by a welcome by BMHS Principal David Meinschein in which he asked all veterans to stand.
Senior Class Vice-President Tanner Bertram gave the Invocation followed by Senior Class President Millicent Green leading in the Pledge of Allegiance. The High School Concert Choir sang “The Star Spangled Banner” followed by Junior Emily Sullivan’s recitation of the Poem “Honor Our Military” by Joanna Fuchs.
The 7th & 8th Grade Choir sang “Give me America”, and the high school band played “Marches of the Armed Forces,” as is tradition during the Veteran’s program at BMHS.
Senior Maggie Denton read the Recognition of the Fallen as students lit a candle for each of the soldiers, and Junior Naoma Curtis played “Taps”. The program concluded with the high school choir singing “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” and Senior Raffety giving the Benediction.