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Giving Thanks to Veterans

Isabelle Hernon '19, Staff Writer

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“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them,” wrote John F. Kennedy in his 1963 Thanksgiving Proclamation. Veterans Day and Thanksgiving weekend provide an opportunity to thank the men and women who have served the country when it was most needed. The courageous souls of years past and those now serving affect every one of us, and truly make America the home of the brave.

The Montrose community is filled with friends and family members who have served in the armed forces. Mrs. Hofer said, “I am very proud of my family’s record of service”; her brothers, uncle, nephew, grandfather, and cousins are all veterans. Jocelyn Kelly ‘18, co-president of the Operation Soldier Support club, feels honored by the many people on her father’s side who have served. Another student, Anna Noon ‘19, said, “My grandfather could have received a purple heart but turned it down because he believed other people deserved it more. Our soldiers don’t go unappreciated; I am so blessed to have my grandfather serve to protect my freedom as well as that of others.”

Impressively, many Montrosian family members have received purple hearts. Mrs. Hofer said her brother-in-law fought at Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War with the United States Marines when he was just seventeen: “The battle lasted seventeen days, was fought in brutally cold weather, and our forces were encircled by the enemy but made a successful withdrawal.  He was awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded in battle.” Anna Sheehan ‘21 expressed her admiration for her father when she said, “It boosts my confidence to know that my father performed this remarkable service for our country, not because it gives me something to brag about, but it shows me how great a person I have to look up to in my own family.” Some of my own family members have served in the Navy and Coast Guard. My father served in the Coast Guard for nine years, and my great-grandfather was a physicist while making the atomic bomb during World War II. Their service makes me feel that my family have helped other families to safeguard the foundation of freedom in the United States. I know it took courage to rise up to the ultimate test and keep citizens safe.

Dr. Bohlin spoke highly of the veterans: “I would like all veterans to know how grateful we are for their service and selfless dedication to our country. They represent the best of America. I am grateful for the invitation to honor all veterans this month, especially those in my family.”  Her grandfather served in World War I and earned two purple hearts, and her brother Steve served in the 82nd Airborne and formed part of the U.S. Army Intelligence from 1986-2002. Her mother, Teresa O’Neill, was a Lieutenant JG in the Navy Nursing Corps in New York, and her father, Ted Bohlin, was accepted into the Army Air Corps in 1942. He sailed to England on the Queen Mary, where the army discovered his mechanical aptitude. They trained him to maintain B-24 bombers. “When we were growing up,” Dr. Bohlin said, “my father used to tell us that World War II was his college,” and for many it was. “As Crew Chief, he learned everything about engines and hydraulics and extended it later into the world of electricity and motor controls. Most importantly, his military experience instilled a tremendous sense of gratitude for the ideals of our country and an ethic of duty and service that were characteristic throughout his life.”

Veterans Day was first created as a holiday to honor the end of World War I, but its original name was formally known as Armistice Day. Armistice Day marked the end of what was described as “the war to end all wars” and it became a federal holiday in 1938. The holiday was then extended to celebrate all veterans. It is a day to remember and to thank those who have served.

Montrose thanks all those who have served and are currently serving. Thank you to all members of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. We are and should be grateful for all of the service men and women, especially during this season of giving thanks.

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Giving Thanks to Veterans