California High School honored veterans last Friday with a breakfast and program.
The morning's events are a combined effort between the school's FFA chapter and student council — the FFA handles the breakfast, while the student council organizes the program itinerary. Along with these efforts, students raised $361 for Central Missouri Honor Flight via a Flapjacks for Freedom breakfast and hat day. The donation was presented to Nicole Slusser, Veterans of Foreign Wars State Office Manger, at the close of the program.
The program's events ranged from musical performances to speakers and a video. The Sounds of Joy performed the National Anthem, the men's choir performed "Tell My Father" and the school band played an armed forces medley. The assembled audience of students and veterans also observed a flag folding ceremony.
Namely, the assembled students got to hear from guest speaker Conrad "Buck" Moody, a veteran who was able to go on an honor flight earlier this year in August.
"It is awesome and humbling," Moody said. "I can't begin to tell you how much that day meant to me."
Moody joined a group of 110 veterans, including one who served in World War II, eight who served in the Korean War, one who served in the Korean War and Vietnam, and 100 Vietnam veterans for the flight to Washington D.C. He spoke fondly of the group's opportunity to observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as well as getting to see memorials specific to each veteran's service experience.
Moody said he was humbled by how the group was treated by everyone from Honor Flight volunteers to the groups that welcomed them upon their arrival at airports.
Ultimately, Moody said, his experience in service was worth it because of the group he was addressing that morning.
"When I look around this room, people talk about a sacrifice — you're worth it, " Moody said. "Every last bit of it."
The program closed on a solemn note, as the sound of "Taps" rang through the room and the crowd of veterans being honored stood at attention.