GALLERY: Meaning and lessons from U.S. veterans

By Kate Hayden,

Two student-led programs on Thursday gave Floyd County veterans a chance to be recognized by the younger generations.

Charles City High School FFA members organized Thursday morning’s community program, which featured alumnus and U.S. Navy veteran Steve Wikert, ‘69, as the keynote speaker. Veterans from the community filled the first few rows of seats — some who had known Wikert from growing up in Charles City.

Wikert, a Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Navy, used his address to highlight the teamwork and communication skills military service provides, and why students in the digital age could benefit.

“I can’t forsee the future, but I do see problems occurring … Depression and suicidal thoughts. We’re seeing it at all levels — people are thinking they can use cruel language when they don’t have to stand in front of somebody, face-to-face,” Wikert told the Press. “In the service, you do learn the difference between ‘we’ and ‘me.'”

Thursday afternoon, more than 200 kindergarten through sixth grade students at Immaculate Conception School performed the school’s annual Veterans Day music program.

The event was narrated by sixth grade leadership students, who told the story of how the Veterans Day holiday came to be. The program has been performed annually for about five years, IC Principal Lynette Hackett said.