Veteran’s Day Assembly


Katie Justice and Francesca Rubesa

On Veteran’s Day, November 11, Poland Seminary held their annual Veteran’s Day assembly; this was the second assembly of the year hosting grades 7-12. Every year, the Wind Ensemble and High School Choir perform, as well as an annual trumpet solo to the song “Taps.” A variety of patriotic songs are played in the beginning of the assembly and ends with a Veteran speaker. 

Owen Lu, senior, was master of ceremonies this year and the performance of “Taps” was played by senior Bella Beight. 

This year’s speaker was Frank DeRhodes of New Springfield, OH. DeRhodes was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967 during the Vietnam War. The following year, he finished training in California and soon moved to serving the military district of Washington D.C. and the Arlington Cemetery for the U.S. Army Honor Guard. 

In his speech to the students, he discussed two major events that occurred during his service. The first were the riots in D.C. following the death of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. He also described his service at Robert Kennedy’s funeral at the Arlington Memorial, which was the first nighttime memorial service there. 

Following his speech, he showed the student body a video rendition of “1812 Overture” that highlighted the Honor Guard. 

Today, DeRhodes lives with wife, Michele, on part of the farm he grew up on and has three children, now adults, and three granddaughters. His oldest granddaughter, twenty-five, currently serves in the U.S. Army in the Middle East. 

Also, he is an active member of the New Middletown Farmers and Sportsman’s Club, where he gives fly-fishing seminars annually. He also belongs to Freedom Church in New Middletown and leads adult Sunday school classes there. He also enjoys hunting in his free time.