Patriots Day commemorated on Courthouse steps today 9/11/19

Staff Writer

Eighteen years ago today, terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. A fourth plane was crashed into a field in Pennsylvania by passengers rather than allow the plane to hit another target.

Today, on the steps and lawns of the Custer County Courthouse, Broken Bow Public Schools held their Patriots Day celebration, celebrating the United States and the freedoms we have here.

Third grade students let the singing of patriotic songs. High school choir members joined them for "America, of Thee I Sing." High school students played stringed instruments on a sing-a-long of "This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land."

High School Principal Rusty Kluender shared words President Ronald Reagan spoke in January, 1981. At his inauguration that year, Reagan shared the "Warrior's Pledge." Speaking of the crosses and Stars of David that mark graves at Arlington, Reagan said "Under one such a marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the Western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy fire. We're told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, 'My Pledge,' he had written these words: 'America must win this war. Therefore, I will work; I will save; I will sacrifice; I will endure; I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.'"

Members of the VFW raised the flag at the beginning of the ceremony then lowered it to half staff. Joining Del Moninger, Emory Haines, Gene Hendricks and Rick Bulhman was World War II veteran Wayne Mills. Mills said the ceremony drew a nice crowd and was "beautiful." As students filed by on their way back to the classroom, Mills thanked them for their participation.