WEST JEFFERSON — On Wednesday, Nov. 10, the gymnasium of Ashe County High School was filled with the nation’s heroes, students, faculty, staff and family members of the veterans who fought for the country’s freedom.

Veterans were invited to ACHS at 8:30 a.m. for a special breakfast before the ceremony began at 9:30 a.m.

Nearly 35 veterans were in attendance and were welcomed by ACHS’ JROTC and tables filled with handmade signs of thanks from the students.

As the clock ticked down for the celebration to begin, veterans were escorted into the gymnasium and sat in the first few rows in front of the stage.

The ceremony began with the playing of the National Anthem by Steve Lewis’ Mountain Music Class.

Songs for each branch of the military were then played and veterans were prompted to stand for their respective theme.

Major Dan Soucek then spoke on his time in the military and gave thanks to all those in attendance as well as Ashe County High School for holding the special ceremony after not being able to in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other speakers were Master Sgt. Chalk Wetmore, Lt. Colonel David Hollis, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Mason Carpenter, Cadet Major Chloe Miller and Cadet Command Sgt. Major Kaden Burgess.

The Husky Vanguard Band then performed “America the Beautiful” in honor of those who fought for the United States of America.

Marine Corps veteran Bob Phipps said he was more than pleased with the ceremony.

“It was really fun,” said Phipps. “It’s nice to see all of the posters the students made and to have them come up and thank you for your service.”

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