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Wakefield: Freedom comes with many challenges


November 11, 2017

Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

COLONEL BRAD Wakefield, U.S. Army Retired, speaks to students, teachers and the public Friday in the Wakefield-Marenisco K-12 gymnasium for a Veterans Day program. Wakefield thanked the student body and adults for standing during the National Anthem, "Because it's our song."


Wakefield - The veterans' detail that visited the Wakefield-Marenisco K-12 school for its Veterans Day program Friday afternoon stood for the national anthem when it was played, as did the student body, and Col. Brad Wakefield, U.S. Army Retired, thanked everyone for it.

Wakefield was the guest speaker and addressed the combined student body about a range of topics, from free speech to defending the Constitution as a sworn officer of the military.

He even talked about burning of the flag as a type of speech, protected by law, even though he admittedly disapproves of the act itself.

Wakefield told the student body, "Free speech takes many challenges." He talked about kneeling during the anthem and burning the flag as signs of protest and the exercise of free speech. Wakefield said he considers both acts disrespectful, but he supports the rights of people to do it.

"Because it's our song, I stand for the national anthem and I appreciate that you stood," he said.

Veterans Day is a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars. An armistice in 1918 on Nov. 11 was declared between the Germany and the Allies, which would become Armistice Day for many countries the following year, in 1919.

In the United States, Nov. 11 became a federal holiday in 1938. After World War II and the Korean War, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day.

The W-M second and third grade students presented the Color Guard with thank you cards before the high school band played "America the Beautiful" and "A Tribute to the Armed Forces (Medley)." Imajica Lemerond played taps following the 21-gun salute to close the ceremony.


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