Retired military veterans of VFW Post 4222 presented the colors during their Veterans Day program held Saturday in Cypress Park.
Students of Berwick Elementary hold signs expressing love to veterans during Berwick Junior High School's Veterans Day Program.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Bobby Stubbs is escorted Friday by Morgan City High School Historical Society President A’Mari Martin while students hold up American flags following the school’s Veterans Day program. (The Daily Review/Zachary Fitzgerald)
Schools pay tribute with Veterans Day programs
Tri-City area people — especially young people — came together over the Veterans Day weekend to honor those who served.
Morgan City High School
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Bobby Stubbs didn’t know what he was getting into 34 years ago. But now he knows well what it means to serve his country.
MCHS Historical Society hosted its annual Veterans Day program Friday titled “Through the Eyes of a Veteran.”
Students led the program that covered U.S. involvement in military conflict from World War I through the Iraq War, while honoring local veterans for their service.
Stubbs, an instructor for the high school’s Junior ROTC program, was guest speaker during the program.
Stubbs said he was blessed to be able to stand before students and faculty as many of his fellow soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives serving their country.
“We cannot celebrate Veterans Day without thinking about the sacrifice that has been paid for us for enjoying our freedom,” Stubbs said. “These men and women ensure that we are able to enjoy our civil liberties.”
Stubbs grew up on a farm in southwest Georgia. In 1983, he missed his curfew one night after hanging out with a friend. Shortly after that incident, his father, a 1st sergeant in the National Guard, introduced him to a staff sergeant who showed him a bunch of papers and told him to sign the papers.
After doing so, Stubbs asked what he had signed up for.
The staff sergeant replied, “You just joined the National Guard.”
“I had no idea what the National Guard was about at that time,” Stubbs said.
He served in the National Guard for three years, and then decided to join the “regular Army” as a combat engineer.
His career included putting in obstacles and minefields, breaching enemy minefields, digging tank ditches, dealing with explosives and building bridges across rivers for “friendly forces” to cross, Stubbs said.
During his military career, Stubbs was stationed in Georgia, Germany, South Carolina, Texas and Missouri.
Many military service members have missed out on family milestones to protect the country, and persevere through the traumatic experiences of war, Stubbs said.
Some students may choose to serve their country, too, and join the military, he said.
“Someday, years down the road, you may find yourself back in this very school being recognized and honored for your service to this country,” he said to students.
Berwick Junior High School
The Tri-City area showed appreciation to veterans as several schools and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4222 hosted Veterans Day programs.
Berwick Elementary, Bayou Vista Elementary, Berwick High School and BJHS students presented various presentations of songs, gifts and certificates to the veterans that attended the BJHS Veterans Day program.
“I joined the military out of necessity, but I fell in love with this country when I served,” said retired Navy Cmdr. Edwin Taylor, who was guest speaker at the BJHS Veterans Day program.
Taylor, a Honduran immigrant who moved to Morgan City when he was 14, served in the Navy for over 20 years. He is currently a family physician in San Antonio.
“There is honor, history, tradition, and things that a traditional American cannot understand wearing a military uniform,” said Taylor. “I am not a hero. I am just an average American who served his country with honor, courage and commitment.”
Taylor said that being in the Navy gave him the skills to be a better man for his country and community and instilled pride in the United States.
Taylor applauds all servicemen of the area for the sacrifice they have made to build the strength and diversity of this nation.
Veterans Day programs were held at other schools around the area such as Morgan City Junior High School, Morgan City High School and Hattie Watts Elementary School in Patterson.