PBHS students give WWII veterans a hero’s send-off - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

PBHS students give WWII veterans a hero’s send-off

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Poplar Bluff Mayor Ed DeGaris thanks the veterans for their sacrifices before a packed audience of students during the Honor Tour assembly today at the high school. (Source: Poplar Bluff R-1 School District) Poplar Bluff Mayor Ed DeGaris thanks the veterans for their sacrifices before a packed audience of students during the Honor Tour assembly today at the high school. (Source: Poplar Bluff R-1 School District)
High school cheerleader Caitlyn Coleman escorts World War II veteran Bernard Tenkhoff to his seat during the Honor Tour send-off today at the high school gym. (Source: Poplar Bluff R-1 School District) High school cheerleader Caitlyn Coleman escorts World War II veteran Bernard Tenkhoff to his seat during the Honor Tour send-off today at the high school gym. (Source: Poplar Bluff R-1 School District)
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POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

Poplar Bluff High School students gave veterans a hero's send-off on Friday, October 19.

This event marked the 11th Honor Tour, the second of which started out from the high school. The ceremony featured the Junior Reserve Training Corps presenting the colors, music from the Poplar Bluff Sho-Me Marching Band, a series of patriotic songs from two of Sikeston's Replica Triplet and speeches from Poplar Bluff Mayor Ed DeGaris, as well as U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

"We'll never know you all have been and what you all have seen," said event host Senior High School Principal Michael Kiehne, "but we do respect you for what all you have done."

Kiehne's students were shown video footage of the Honor Tour during their advisory classes prior to the assembly, per request of Tucker Davis of First Midwest Bank, who has been instrumental in coordinating the trips with Callahan, his co-worker.

Cheerleaders from the high school escorted the veterans, some in wheelchairs, to and from their seats, set up in the center of the gym. Taytum Eudaley, a 16-year-old junior, explained how she thanked the veteran she was walking with for his service, but he immediately deflected the gratitude by thanking her for giving him an arm to lean on.

There were originally 30 veterans who signed up for the Honor Tour, but sadly several died prior, according to Honor Tour founder Rob Callahan. He has made it his mission to bring as many survivors of the greatest generation to see the memorial—60 years in the making—honoring their service. Next time around, Callahan is planning to take more Korean War vets to see other monuments on the all-expense paid trip, funded by donations.

"This'll be in these guys' and our memories for the rest of our lives," said Callahan, before a packed gymnasium of hundreds of students. The assembly was held in support of 23 World War II veterans and one from the Korean War who were gearing up to see for the first time in their lives the World War II Memorial, among other historic sites in Washington, D.C.

You can click here for more information on the Honor Tour.

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