‘The America I Believe In’
Posted on 11/15/2016

An estimated 75 servicemen and women including one vet from the greatest generation attended the annual Veterans Day Assembly on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Poplar Bluff Middle School.

Principal Dr. Brad Owings recognized Prtr. 2nd Class Robert L. Thacker, the great-great-uncle of fifth grader Ian Pierce, for serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In an essay entitled ‘The America I Believe In,’ Bralin Duckett of the sixth grade thanked Thacker along with all of the military and other public servants in the audience, saying their career choice is a calling, not just a job.

“The America that I believe in is a strong, independent, hard working country; a nation that is the pulse of the world; the nation that other countries believe we are; the nation that people from all over the world strive to reach for a better life,” Bralin stated. “When America is healthy and strong, the world is a healthier and stronger place.”

This year’s keynote speaker was Melodie Summers, Gold Star mother of the late Staff Sgt. Eric Summers of Poplar Bluff who, along with three other Marines, was tragically killed disposing of explosives at Camp Pendleton near San Diego in 2013.

Melodie said she can remember attending the Veterans Day Assembly at Middle School three years ago, and that was the last day she spoke to her son. In August, a portion of U.S. 67 through Butler County was named in Eric’s honor.

The Veterans Day Assembly has been a tradition of the Middle School for the community since 1997. Junior High also held a program open to the public in the afternoon, featuring Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Kurt Dumey of the U.S. Coast Guard as guest speaker.


Cutline: Bralin Duckett reads his featured essay, stating that he believes in a “country where its citizens can disagree with one another, but at the end of the day come together as Americans.”

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