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Dalhart celebrates Veteran’s Day


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Dalhart celebrates Veteran’s Day

By Bill Kelly
THE DALHART TEXAN

After being forced to cancel most of the 2020 Veteran’s Day activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dalhart once again held a number of events to honor local veterans on Thursday November 11, Veteran’s Day.

The Dalhart Elks Lodge started the day off by hosting breakfast for local veterans from 7:30- 9:30 a.m. The two big events of the day are the parade and the program that follows. Those who had signed up for the parade began lining up at Dalhart City Hall at 9 a.m., and the parade began at 10 a.m. The parade was led by David Connor and Dallam County Sheriff Shane Stevens. Jack McMeen, Dalhart’s last World War II veteran, was the parade marshal and was next, and then C.J. Unruh, the master of ceremonies for the program, and Glendon Pyle, the keynote speaker, were driven in a convertible provided by XIT Communications, which sponsored the parade.

The XIT Rodeo & Reunion Association Directors provided their “Hoopie” for Dalhart’s Gold Star families to ride in the parade, and local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts were the color guard for both the parade and the program. The DHS Golden Wolves Band marched in the parade and played both the National Anthem and Taps at the program.

The XIT Rangers provided one float for veterans to ride on, and Dalhart Cruzers also provided several vehicles for other veterans. Dalhart High’s football team, cross country teams, volleyball team and cheerleaders rode on a float, and Dalhart Christian Academy, St. Anthony’s Catholic School, and local homeschooled students also participated in the parade to honor veterans. Frank Phillips College also had some vehicles in the parade, and the Dalhart Volunteer Fire Department and EMS (AMR) also participated, as did some other local residents who drove various vehicles, including motorcycles and tractors.

The Veteran’s Day Program was held at Central United Methodist Church (CUMC) beginning at 11 a.m. Students from St. Anthony’s Catholic School led the Pledge of Allegiance after the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts b r o u g h t in the American flag and f l a g s from each s e r v i c e b r a n c h . C U M C pastor Josh Stueve and D a l h a r t M a y o r J u s t i n M o o r e welcomed everyone to the program, and then Unruh introduced McMeen as the parade marshal and then had all the veterans in the audience stand as he called out their time of service. Unruh also read a letter that had been received from former president Donald Trump thanking Dalhart veterans for their service.
Students from Dalhart Christian Academy sang each service branch’s song, and then finished with “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “God Bless the U.S.A.” to a standing ovation. While each branch’s song was being sung, those who served in that branch of the military stood once again to be recognized.

Korean War veteran Glendon Pyle gave the keynote speech, and talked about some of the things that veterans go through during their time in service, and why many of them choose to serve.

Following Pyle’s speech, Dalhart Interact Club sponsor Paige Davis and Interact Club member Michael Trujillo told those in attendance about the Wreaths Across American program, which puts wreaths on the graves of veterans throughout the nation for those who want to sponsor wreaths (more about that program will be included in a future edition of the Dalhart Texan.) Taps was played by members of the Golden Wolves Band at the end of the program as well. After the program, lunch was provided for veterans at the XIT Rangers building near Rita Blanca Lake.

Dalhart Intermediate School held its own Veteran’s Day program on November 11 to honor local veterans. It included the songs of each branch of service, and a slideshow about family members of intermediate students who served in the military. Hartley ISD had a program honoring veterans on Wednesday November 10.

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