Veterans Honored During BB and A-M Programs

Veterans Honored During BB and A-M Programs
Veterans Day Program at Anselmo-Merna

CUSTER COUNTY–Many of America’s finest were honored throughout Custer County on Thursday, November 11 in celebration of Veterans Day.

Broken Bow High School hosted its program along with the American Legion, American Legion Riders, DAV, Sons of the American Legion, and the VFW. Superintendent Darren Tobey welcomed veterans and acknowledged all of the branches of the armed forces.

The high school band played the Star Spangled Banner and Manhattan Beach while the high school choir sang A Tribute to the Armed Services and Stand By Me. “The Noble and the Brave: A Veterans Day Tribute” by Joanna Fuchs was read followed by a moment of silence, Taps, and the retiring of the colors.

A special honor was given to World War II Veteran Wayne Mills, currently age 95, originally from Westerville. His bio was read by Broken Bow student Austin Harvey which stated Mills was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and assigned to Company B, 291st Infantry Battalion in England.

(L-R) Marvel and Wayne Mills, a 95 year old WWII Army Veteran along with Broken Bow student Austin Harvey.

In January of 1945 Wayne Mills fought in the Battle of the Bulge, one of the bloodiest battles fought in World War II, with more than 19,000 U.S. fatalities among tens of thousands of casualties.

Wayne Mills was wounded in action and upon inspection of his helmet, there were four bullet strikes that certainly without his helmet would have proved fatal. Following Germany’s surrender in 1945, Wayne was transferred to France where he guarded German POWs and in early 1946 he was reassigned to Belgium where his job was to assist in locating and plotting where all the fallen G.I.s were buried in the area so they could be relocated to Maragratin cemetery in Holland, the bio stated.

Wayne returned to Custer County in 1946. He farmed for the next four decades where he and his wife of 71 years, Marvel, raised son Jim Hartman and daughters Diane Farrand and Shelly Amsberry.

Anselmo-Merna held their program Veterans Day morning which featured guest speaker Tim Peterson. Tim, whose son currently serves in the United States Air Force, talked about the difference between freedom and liberty. He stated that when a veteran takes their oath they swear to uphold liberty. During his speech, Tim referenced how his freedom of recess was revoked as a child when he did not follow the rules, but liberty provides protection of an individual’s rights.

Tim quoted Thomas Jefferson who said, “Freedom is something the government grants put liberty is something we own that the government cannot take away. Freedom can be revoked and my rights can be violated and rescinded, but liberty cannot be violated except by who gives it.”

American Legion Post No. 50 from Merna presented the colors and were joined by other service members during the program.

Thank you to all our veterans for your courage, sacrifice, and bravery.