Veterans are people, too. On Veterans Day, November 11, Principal Braxton Bateman and the students of Kanab Elementary School treated the members of Post 69 of the American Legion just that way. Not only as people ... but as very special people.

This now annual program was fed steroids and blossomed into a 45-minute tribute to the once rock hard soldiers, now with graying hair and slowing walk.

Principal Bateman, as the drover, gave the audience a patriotic menu including speeches by the Constitutional Essay winners (fifth and sixth grades) and a medley of throat-tightening songs by the Kanab Elementary kids led by Sheri Downward. The Star Spangled Banner and It’s a Grand Old Flag always mist Ol’ Crankcase up a little.

Post 69 responded with a tribute to Old Glory by Ol’ Crankcase; a short program led by Commander Terry Parthemore, who showed how used flags are designated for honorable burning; followed by the burning of such flags by the students, Legionnaires, and viewing townspeople. Lastly, was the playing of Taps and a 21-Gun Salute where the dying flags were treated as fallen soldiers.

At least 30 to 40 townspeople attended. A very worthy effort by the involved citizens, Post 69, and the students and faculty of Kanab Elementary School.

Our beloved military of today protect the freedoms we will have tomorrow. Veterans of yesteryear gave us the freedoms we have today.

I served in the early 50s during the Korean Conflict. Even then I felt the “freeze” concerning soldiers. For 50 years plus, after World War II, veterans were nonentities. Vietnam vets hid their service records to keep from being ridiculed and hated. Terrorism and 911 opened the door for the long overdue respect for the men and women who have kept us free since Washington and his men froze at Valley Forge.

Contrary to popular belief, there are no such things as “God-given rights and freedoms!” Only an alert, well-focused society, and a military fighting for justice and country will give and protect these most precious of all commodities.

Abe Lincoln once said; “It matters not if God is on our side. What does matter is if we are on God’s side.”

Thank you, all Veterans!