"It was an array of awe," said Susan Deitrick, Lakeview's counselor, and Veterans Day organizer.
The program, after the breakfast for the Veterans, included 192 photo slides; a welcome from Principal Andy Yanchunas; a greeting emphasizing the character traits of heroes from Mayor Karen Fritschel; and five speakers.
One of thee speakers was Judge Randolph Baxter, who had fought in the Army’s 11th Armored Calvary as they marched into Cambodia with Gen. Donn Starry, last year’s keynote speaker.
"Judge Baxter spoke of taking a simple life and making it extraordinary by the love and commitment with which you live the life you are given," said Deitrick.
The second speaker was Stow Police Chief Louis Dirker, Jr., who spoke of the steadfastness and resolve needed in leadership no matter how one is called to serve; something illustrated in the Marines, said Deitrick. "Semper Fi is more than a motto, it is a way of life. Both of Officer Dirker’s sons, Erik and Kurt, followed in their father’s footsteps right into the Marines and beyond—making a difference."
Harold Rowland, a Korean War Era veteran and speaker Nov. 11, is a great example of Gen Starry’s words: “Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind.”
He shared stories about how supportive and ehthusiastic students were about supporting soldiers.
"Air Force Captain Ben Lang, whose son Collin attends Lakeview, carried the theme further about doing the very best you can no matter what it is you are called to do; even what may seem like the most mundane, will shine when it is done with love and honor," said Deitrick.
The final speaker was a young Ohio National Guard member and new mother, Sgt. Patricia Stofiel E5.
"She didn’t even attempt to stand still as she shared true heroics of one with whom she had worked side-by-side, and who was later caught in an IED explosion, now wearing the scars of her ordeal, and about to be honored in Columbus," said Deitrick. "She spoke of the honor of working with true heroes who are unassuming and real, just doing the job they’ve been called to do, even at a cost that must humble us all."
The heroes were honored several ways during the event:
- The Lakeview Singers sang and led the audience in patriotic songs; soloist Shelby Carlisle sang “A Song of Peace”.
- Bagpiper Brett Lamb performed “Amazing Grace."
- Greg Newman started with “Reveile” and Eryn Church and Nick Lavy, Lakeview students, played “Taps
- Dylan Kelly wrote and played a song on his guitar called "Happy Veterans Day."
"This Veterans Day seemed to bring an awakening that was so powerful. It's like there are so many untreated soul wounds out there in so many who have been brave in ways most of us will never understand; folks who stood up for this nation whether it was the popular thing to do or not, and fought odds many could never comprehend," said Deitrick.