Photos by Christopher Null
By Scott Theis, Managing Editor
The SCC Concert Band is playing and the seats are filled, the stage is set to honor our American heroes. Welcome to the Veterans Day Celebration. Roughly 200 people were in the SCC College Center ready to celebrate those who defend our country in the last of this week’s SCC Veterans Day events. The ceremony began with a parade of brave veterans carrying the colors of their respective military branches to the sounds of a bagpipe, followed by a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by the SCC Chamber Choir.
With opening remarks by SCC President Ronald Chesbrough, he set the tone for it being a ceremony of remembrance. Remember those who have given up so much for our benefit and for those who lost their lives doing the work of the United States. The panel onstage was full of distinguished veterans and active military personnel including current Missouri National Guard member and President of the SCC Student Veterans Organization Sgt. Steven Watson.
The keynote speaker was Brigadier General Gregory S. Champagne of the Missouri Air National Guard. The tone of his remarks were somber and appropriate for someone who has served during times of war. He spoke about the sacrifices of military life and how it is a life that civilians will never truly understand.
His speech was followed by a chance for the audience to truly recognize veterans in the crowd. The Concert Band played the songs of each military branch as we honored those who served. The most remarkable part about that segment of the program was how few veterans there actually were in the crowd. The majority of people were students, faculty and members of the community who came only to celebrate our country’s heroes.
The event also included a recitation of the “Gettysburg Address” by student actors from the SCC Theater Department. After a 21 gun salute, the Chamber Choir sang “God Bless America.” The ceremony came to a close with the retirement of the colors in a recessional. It was a fitting end to a great week of Veterans Day events by SCC.