Congratulations to the organizers of the POW-MIA Recognition Day at New Matamoras Elementary School.
Once again, local veterans' war stories from past generations were told to young school students. This is the 23rd year for the event, a major accomplishment in itself.
This year's event was filled with drama as Woodfield's Herman Zerger retold his story abut being taken as a prisoner of war in Germany in 1945. Zerger has participated in the POW-MIA Day event for nearly two decades. This year's event was gratifying for the aging veteran and much appreciated by the young students.
After telling his story, Zerger was greeted with applause from students, school staff and fellow veterans. Students also showed their appreciation by giving hearty handshakes to Zerger afterward.
Early in the ceremony students expressed their appreciation to veterans in attendance. Sixth-grader Robert Hurt said, "You are all very brave, heroic, tough and strong."
We wholeheartedly agree.
POW-MIA Day serves not only as a reminder of the perils of war, but also of the bravery of the men and women defending out nation. We all can benefit from a reminder of the contributions from those who serve our nation currently and in the past.
Thank you, veterans.
And we'd also like to praise the empathy shown by students for two Frontier High alums: Army1st Lt. Chris Rutherford, who died on active duty in Iraq in 2007; and Army. Spc. Kyle Hockenberry, who lost both legs and his left arm to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last year.