ROCHELLE — Rochelle Township High School hosted its Veterans Day Breakfast Thursday to honor local veterans.
RTHS Principal Chris Lewis welcomed veterans to the school and said it was nice to have them back after the annual event was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We got to October and thought about how we'd celebrate Veterans Day and I know the breakfast has always been a nice touch,” Lewis said. “We enjoy having you guys here. Thank you for joining us. We can study history, we can listen to your stories, but we'll never fully understand the sacrifice you made for our country. We can't thank you enough for your service.”
The Veterans Day breakfast was different than in years past to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There were fewer students than usual, just those accompanying veterans attended along with two servers. The RTHS band wasn’t on hand to play the service medley and masks were required. The school wanted to make sure it could continue its tradition safely.
Mayor John Bearrows attended the event and spoke.
"We need to remember our veterans every day,” Bearrows said. “Not just one or two days a year. I challenge each and every one of you in this room that every time you see a flag, remember what it stands for. Say a little prayer and thank God for our veterans. Because we couldn't be doing this today without them and their sacrifices."
Following breakfast, the service medley was played, and each veteran stood as their song was played.
Bearrows closed his speech by saying the best way to honor the country’s veterans is to take an active role in maintaining freedom in America and showing veterans that the country is worth all that they have given and lost.
“We must teach future generations about what it means to be an American,” Bearrows said. “We should all come together, promote peace and pray for an end to the violence that seems to be out of control while instilling the values that are so important that only we as a unified country have the power to do.”