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‘We thank you:’ FHSU honors veterans

Blaise Mesa
Hays Daily News
Retired Col. Allen Schmidt speaks to a crowd at the Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union Quad.

Retired Col. Allen Schmidt said the national anthem and the line of flags he saw flying on his drive lifted his spirit. Schmidt, who served under eight presidents, said it is an honor to serve the country.

Schmidt spoke at Fort Hays State University’s Memorial Union Quad to honor those who served.

“For your service and dedication to your country we thank you,” said Kelsi Broadway, assistant director of the Transfer and Military Center. “For the sacrifices you have made over the years, we thank you. Today we thank you who have kept our land the home of the free because of the brave.”

Schmidt said there are many patriotic Americans in the country, but said veterans are just different.

“What makes veterans different?... ‘Veterans are those who at one point in their lives wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for any amount, up to and including their own lives,’ ” Schmidt said.

He said it is important to honor those who have served. He said even though there are two holidays, Memorial Day honoring those who died and Veterans day honoring those who have served and are serving, he said people don’t always understand the importance of Veterans Day.

The event included the singing of the National Anthem and a moment of silence for those who died.

Schmidt recalled stories of soldiers being called to active duty hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including one soldier who left school even though it could cost them their scholarship.

“It’s important to understand the cost of maintaining our freedom and liberty from the very beginnings of our nation, down to this very day,” Schmidt said. “Many have given their lives throughout our history.”