Veterans from around the valley were invited to enjoy breakfast together hosted by Melba FFA chapter.
As men and women from all eras and branches of service sat together over breakfast, several students presented poems written in honor of these veterans and all others.
Together the entire Melba School District student body, school board, teachers and guests then joined together for a presentation to pay tribute for the sacrifices that veterans past, present and future make and have made for this country and its citizens freedoms.
Student Body President Kimberly Bangerter introduced her father, Layne Bangerter, and he read a greeting from his boss, Senator Mike Crapo.
“Those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and their families give our country a great gift, the preservation of our freedom. We are blessed in Idaho to have many veterans in our communities that continue lead through the example of extraordinary service. One of the ways that America pays tribute to this service is the celebration of Veterans Day. We can also honor their service everyday by learning from their examples and never forgetting their contributions,” wrote Crapo in his greeting.
Keynote speaker, Retired Lt. Col. Herb Meyr spoke of his 23 years as a pilot in the Air Force.
Lt. Col. Meyr shared slides of the airplanes that he has flown over the years.
Myer shared stories of being on nuclear alert with the F-100 in Turkey during the Cold War all the way through serving in Vietnam as a young Lieutenant flying an A-1 Skyraider.
Lt. Col. Meyr spent nearly his whole career in planes and late in his career when he was offered a desk job, he chose to retire in Idaho instead.
He discovered Idaho while flying training missions and fell in love.
Lt. Col. Meyr encouraged those to never forget and that it doesn’t just take a special day to honor a veteran.
“Veterans Day is every day and we should remember that,” said Meyr.
With music from the second and third grade students, as well as the high school choir, patriotism was in the air.
Members of the student body made a tribute video with the Student Council, giving thanks in their own words to those that have served.
Dave Mangum, retired Melba track coach and strong community supporter, stood solemnly with his guitar and sang a moving and personal rendition of God Bless America.
Retired Corporal Joe Whilden spoke of his years of service both in the military and to the community of Melba as a police officer.
Whilden remembered the years serving the community in only a way the he could, with kindness and respect.
Whilden read the names of his brothers from the Melba American Legion and encouraged the crowd to remember those that have died, served and still serving.
“You students are the future of this country,” said Whilden. “Set a goal as high as you can.”