LOUISVILLE – Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeffery J. Caniglia was impressed with the size of the crowd when he walked to the podium in Louisville High School Friday morning.
He remained impacted by the audience’s enthusiasm as he delivered his Veterans Day speech.
Caniglia, a decorated veteran of the Nebraska National Guard, was the keynote speaker at Louisville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony. All K-12 members of the Louisville student body and scores of community members filled the gym for the patriotic assembly. Caniglia became even more excited when he asked all veterans and members of their families to stand. More than one-fourth of the audience rose from their seats and received applause from others in the arena.
“This is fantastic,” Caniglia said. “There are a lot of people here who have served their country.”
Caniglia spent one section of his speech praising family members of veterans in all branches of the military. He said spouses, children and relatives deserved a large amount of appreciation for their work on the homefront.
Caniglia also told audience members to do more than just thank veterans on the street, in a store or at a school event. He said it was important to ask veterans about their experiences and to give attentive listening ears to their stories. He said that type of response would mean a great deal to veterans who have served either inside or outside of the country’s borders.
Caniglia has served more than 31 years in the military and has logged more than 8,000 hours in both helicopters and airplanes. He has spent more than 1,000 hours of that airtime in either combat or imminent-danger situations. Caniglia has conducted missions in El Salvador, Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia and the Czech Republic during his career.
Louisville’s Veterans Day ceremony featured many other tributes from students and faculty. Louisville Elementary School students sang “Thank a Vet” for the crowd, and members of the LHS Concert Choir delivered a presentation of the national anthem. The audience also heard an educational presentation about the history and evolution of the American flag.
LHS social studies teacher Nick Bausch and students in his military history class helped arrange the Veterans Day program. Catherine Sayre, Maddy Sladky, Samantha Spangler, Trajan Trent, Braydon Yardley, Conner Buettner, Chase Cosgrove, Merlin Good, Ethan Harrod, Nathaniel Krejci, Keven Adams, Luke Bruce, Audrey Felix, Samuel Gauthier, Tyler Hiatt, Joel Magill, Parker Manley, Jaren Powell and Julian Ramirez participated in the assembly.