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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • 'There's a lot we can learn' from veterans

  • Students at Rolla High School were advised not to limit their appreciation of veterans to just one holiday.
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  • Students at Rolla High School were advised not to limit their appreciation of veterans to just one holiday.
    "One day of recognition is never enough," said State Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla, who was a guest speaker at the school's Veterans Day assembly held Friday.
    "There's a lot that we can learn from these gentlemen and women who have served," Brown said at the assembly. "We actually have heroes living among us and I think sometimes we fail to recognize them as much as we should."
    Since veterans have protected and continue to do so for this country year-round, Brown reminded his constituents in his weekly column (which can be found in this issue's Lifestyles section on Page 1B) that this country owes veterans more than the gratitude of a single day.
    During Brown's talk at RHS, he reiterated that point.
    "The price of freedom is extremely high and we cannot forget those willing to pay the price ... We celebrate our veterans for keeping this nation the land of the free and home of the brave ... not just on Veterans Day but every day of the year," the state senator said.
    "My words will pale in comparison to what some of them have gone through in their lives, what their families back home have suffered a lot of times when they were willing to serve for you and I" to allow for the freedoms and opportunities this nation's citizens enjoy today.
    "If I can impart one thing to you as young men and women today, please remember who we came from. Get to know one of these guys. If you have a grandparent or someone who served in the military ... most of the time they don't want to talk about it and they don't have much to say (unless) you sit down and express true interest."
    Brown is chairman of the Missouri Senate's Veterans' Affairs and Health Committee.
    Also speaking during the assembly was Bob May, who achieved the rank of 1st Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy.
    May said he appreciates the family support given to servicemen and servicewomen, noting that writing letters and sending care packages means a lot to those serving.
    "It's important every year that we remember this day and appreciate all you have and where you came from ... many people stepping forward now they don't have to. In my era, we were required to do that," May told the crowd at RHS.
    May joined the Navy at age 18 and while he said he did not fight in any battles, "the only fight I had was with one of my shipmates and I won't tell you who won."
    About three dozen veterans and their spouses and families attended the assembly, organized by the leadership class at RHS.
    Page 2 of 2 - Among the veterans in the crowd that May recognized was Takeji Frank Mori of Rolla, who served with the 100th Infantry Battalion of the 442nd Infantry Regiment in Italy during World War II, in Germany during the occupation after the war, and in Korea after the outbreak of hostilities there.
    Mori was a member of the most decorated unit during World War II.
    Jeff Sandquist, the vocal music director and music department chair for Rolla Public Schools, led the choir and band in patriotic songs and music.
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