North Dorch­ester Mid­dle School hon­ors vet­er­ans

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com Fol­low Caro­line/ Dorch­ester Edi­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @Dustin_ StarDem.

SHILOH — The North Dorch­ester Mid­dle School hon­ored lo­cal vet­er­ans Fri­day, Nov. 11, dur­ing its an­nual Vet­er­ans Day Cer­e­mony in the school’s gym.

Lo­cal dig­ni­taries and Dorch­ester County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­bers and Dorch­ester County Pub­lic Schools of­fi­cials joined the event.

The school in­vited lo­cal vet­er­ans and com­mu­nity mem­bers to at­tend the cer­e­mony, which fea­tured mu­si­cal se­lec­tions from the North Dorch­ester Mid­dle School band and cho­rus. The band per­formed “Mil­i­tary Med­ley” and “God Bless Amer­ica” while the cho­rus sang “I’ll Make the Dif­fer­ence” with soloists Eli­jah Tal­ley and JaKiya Davis, and “Amer­ica Med­ley” with soloist Lil­ian Mc­Don­ald.

The Dorch­ester County Sher­iff’s Of­fice pre­sented the col­ors. The school asked all vet­er­ans to stand to be rec­og­nized dur­ing the cer­e­mony. At the end, eighth grader Devin Lord per­formed “Taps.”

U.S. Navy CPO and NDMS par­ent Tim Kroeger was the cer­e­mony’s key­note speaker. He joined the Navy in 1993 af­ter high school and served 10 years as an elec­tron­ics war­fare tech­ni­cian.

“It is an honor to be here to­day,” Kroeger said. “I loved ev­ery minute of serv­ing in the Navy. I loved be­ing sta­tioned all over the coun­try. I loved trav­el­ing around the world.”

Kroeger said he joined the Navy be­cause he was un­sure what he wanted to do for a ca­reer but knew the Navy would give him a chance to find out and would pay for col­lege.

“An­other rea­son why I joined was be­cause I wanted to make an im­pact in the world around me,” he said. “In fact, I still do. I still work for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. I wanted to make the world a bet­ter place.”

Kroeger said the U.S. mil­i­tary does more than fight bat­tles. He said the mil­i­tary pro­vides ser­vices, such as help­ing with relief ef­forts in South Carolina, North Carolina and the Caribbean Is­lands af­ter Hur­ri­cane Matthew.

“The Navy de­ployed three ships to help aid Haiti af­ter the hur­ri­cane,” he said. “While serv­ing in the Navy, I par­tic­i­pated in all sorts of ser­vice projects. I vol­un­teered over the week­end at lo­cal schools to help stu­dents learn to read.

“This was something I never re­al­ized the mil­i­tary did,” he said. “Even though the mil­i­tary is fight­ing the War on Ter­ror­ism all around the world, I guar­an­tee ser­vice mem­bers to­day are still con­duct­ing ser­vice projects. I feel that is pretty awe­some.

“We send our young peo­ple all over the world to other na­tions, and while they are there, they are serv­ing those lo­cal peo­ple, demon­strat­ing to them what it means to be an Amer­i­can,” he said.

NDMS Prin­ci­pal Les­lie Tol­ley thanked all the vet­er­ans for com­ing to Fri­day’s cer­e­mony and for their ser­vice to the United States.

“We’re here to­day to honor our heroes, their achieve­ments, their courage and their ded­i­ca­tion, and to say thank you for their sac­ri­fices,” she said. “Think­ing of the heroes who join us in this group to­day and those who are here only in spirit, a per­son can’t help but feel awed by the enor­mity of what we en­counter. We stand in the midst of pa­tri­ots and the fam­ily and friends of those who have nobly served.

“Thank you for an­swer­ing the call of duty,” she said. “Your un­wa­ver­ing ded­i­ca­tion has made our armed forces the most re­spected force in the world, all while tack­ling a host of chal­lenges from con­ven­tional threats aboard to help­ing pre­vent ter­ror from com­ing to our shores.

“Our gath­er­ing is just one small spark in the flame of pride that burns across the na­tion to­day and ev­ery day,” she said. “It’s one small way we can honor those who have made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice so that we can live in free­dom.”

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Lo­cal vet­er­ans stand and get rec­og­nized at the North Dorch­ester Mid­dle School Vet­er­ans Day Cer­e­mony on Fri­day, Nov. 11.

The Dorch­ester County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Honor Guard presents the col­ors dur­ing the North Dorch­ester Mid­dle School Vet­er­ans Day Cer­e­mony Fri­day, Nov. 11.

U.S. Navy CPO and North Dorch­ester Mid­dle School par­ent Tim Kroeger gives the key­note ad­dress at the North Dorch­ester Mid­dle School Vet­er­ans Day Cer­e­mony Fri­day, Nov. 11.

North Dorch­ester Mid­dle School Prin­ci­pal Les­lie Tol­ley thanks lo­cal vet­er­ans for their ser­vice in the U.S. Mil­i­tary dur­ing the school’s Vet­er­ans Day Cer­e­mony Fri­day, Nov. 11.

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