Besore honors local veterans

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Veterans from various military branches attended the observance at Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library. Pictured, from left, front row: Joyce Fye, Army; Jim Flick, Navy; Duane Schroyer, Army; Dale Schroyer, Army; Wayne Baumbaugh, Marines. Back row: Steve Dubpernell, Army; Ed Smith, Army; Dale Beaver, Army; Don Boward, Air Force; Rick Hess, Marines.

Greencastle VFW Post 6319 commander Joyce Fye joined the U. S. Army at age 17 because, as she told her skeptical father, “It’s the most honorable job I can do.” He sighed, knowing he had lost the argument, and signed her permission papers.

On Friday, Fye paid tribute to all veterans at the second annual Veterans Day Program at Besore Memorial Library. She told her own story of enlisting in the Reserves, serving for 12 years with two stints in Iraq, and settling in Greencastle. Her husband Joe is still active military.

“We have witnessed the horrors of war,” she told the assembly at Besore.

It was the veteran that was the best American product, she said. “November 11 is their day.”

Because of those men and women, individuals were assured they could live without fear of tyranny. The military select, fewer than one percent of the U.S. population, were its most selfless citizens, she continued.

“Thousands of our best and brightest are currently deployed,” Fye said. “Veterans shaped our past, present and future.”

She asked that people thank those who served whenever they ran into them; that was all that was needed.

Select singers from the Greencastle-Antrim High School Concert Choir performed a number of songs. The choral members sang “A Mystic Chord” and “Hero’s Pledge”.

The latter was dedicated in memory of Master Sgt. Benjamin F. Bitner, who died in Iraq in 2011. He grew up in Greencastle.

The next song was “I Will Make a Difference”.

“We all need to take a stand and remember those who sacrificed so much,” said director Ronalyn Bingaman.

At the end of the program, the group returned and invited the audience to join them in “God Bless America”.

Library assistant Sharon Zaretskie moderated the ceremony.