Charles Scott, one of the county’s few living veterans of World War II, listens with his wife Betty to the speakers at Saturday morning’s Veterans Day program at the St. George Island Lighthouse. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
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A day to celebrate service to country

In three separate ceremonies over two days, the county paid tribute to its veterans.

One of the many veterans at the Veterans Day ceremonies. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The first Veterans Day program was at the First Baptist Christian School on Friday morning, in the church sanctuary where the students there presented a traditional program of songs and readings, blending historical passages like the Gettysburg Address, the preamble to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence with readings from the Bible, and the singing of the Lord’s Prayer, Onward Christian Soldier and The Lord’s Army.

First Baptist Christian School kindergartners, from left: Lane Kembro, Logan Ferrell and Davis Barber, recite the Lord’s Prayer at the Friday morning program. | The Times ]

Army veteran John Guffey was the program’s speaker and there was recognition of each of the service branches and the men and women in the audience that served in them. 

Army veteran Bob Iguagiato [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The program closed with the reading of In Flanders Fields, the playing of Taps and the singing of You’re a Grand Old Flag and God Bless America.

Hunter Ard, a junior at the First Baptist Christian School, holds a Bible during the three pledges – to the American flag, the Christian flag and the Bible – that opened the annual Veterans Day program in the church sanctuary Friday morning.

At about the same time, the Franklin County Schools and the Apalachicola Bay Charter School held their traditional combined program in the Franklin County High School gym.

The program was conducted with an air of pageantry, with the many local beauty queens each sporting their sashes and tiaras and seated prominently in front.

Seventh grader Isabella Frye shares a moment in the Franklin County Schools’ media center with Army vet Lee Mattern, who said he forged his mom’s signature when he was age 15 to get into the service, which he made into a career. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The lights were darkened during the service medley songs, when each veteran stood, creating a solemn faceless moment that testified to the service not to self but to others, and the nation, that marks the veteran’s identity.

Gulf War veteran Willie McNair [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The program, conducted crisply, featured the Cadet Core, under the direction of retired Air Force Col. Christopher Anderson, They handled the flag folding and the carrying of the flags of the service branches.

Sophomore Nayomi Bott, a member of the Cadet Core. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

One departure from the tradition at the high school was the recitation of the Christian pledge by students from the ABC School, under the direction of Elizabeth Tipton.

On Saturday, at 11:11 a.m., the St. George Island Lighthouse was the setting for a Veterans Day program at the traditional time set aside for such a celebration.

Retired Air Force Col. Christopher Anderson delivers the keynote speech at Saturday morning’s Veterans Day program at the St. George Island Lighthouse. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The program was organized by a partnership of the St. George Lighthouse Association, the SGI Veterans Reveille Group and American Legion Post 106 in Apalachicola. Anderson served as keynote speaker, and the Cadet Core served as the color guard.

Temolynn Wintons, who led the Franklin County Schools’ Seahawk Singers in singing the National Anthem, hands out flags to the elementary school students. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Anderson outlined the school’s program and focused his remarks on personal remembrances of the veterans who had touched his life and inspired him to service.

One of the many veterans at the Veterans Day ceremonies. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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