Veteran’s Day assembly features message for Rifle High School students |

Veteran’s Day assembly features message for Rifle High School students

Mike McKibbin/Citizen Telegram
Staff Photo |

Pay attention to the freedoms Americans have enjoyed, guard and protect them, was the message given to the Rifle High School student body by a Veteran’s Day guest speaker at the school’s annual assembly to honor area veterans.

The hour-long, Monday, Nov. 11, event featured performances by the school band and combined choirs, patriotic poetry read by members of the student council – who organized the assembly – and introductions of each of the approximate 40 area veterans who attended. The veterans were also served lunch at the school.

Bill Van Arsdale, a 1952 graduate of Rifle Union High School and a paratrooper for the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, said he also served as a Rifle City Council member and as mayor.

“I want to thank God and our country’s forefathers for giving the United States of America the most successful form of government this world has seen,” Van Arsdale said. “And despite all that’s going on, we’re still the greatest nation in the world and you shouldn’t forget that.”

“Embrace God, protect the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” he continued. “The veterans here today fought and stood for the freedoms those documents called for. Pay attention to those freedoms, guard and protect them.”

Van Arsdale said some elected officials “clamor for all kinds of free things they feel some people need. But there’s no free lunch.”

“Someone somewhere paid for those things,” he added. “God bless America and let freedom ring.”

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