Thursday, December 22, 2016

Veterans Day visit by former superintendent, WWII vet Ray Lokers

Hamilton's first superintendent Dr. Ray Lokers (left), shakes hands with retiring Hamilton High School Principal Doug Braschler before speaking to students and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 2014.

Hamilton students experienced a rare treat this morning when World War II veteran Dr. Ray Lokers spoke to the student body prior to leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

Dr. Lokers, who served as the first superintendent of Hamilton Community  Schools when the district was formed back in the late 1950s, spoke about his experience in the war as well as what Veterans Day means to him.

As he related, the day used to be called Armistice Day, and he recalled a World War I veteran coming to his elementary school in Zeeland when he was in 3rd grade to talk to the kids.  The soldier showed the kids the gas mask he had to wear during the war in Europe against Germany.

Dr. Lokers than described his service in Germany, from the Siegried Line near the border or France and Germany, to Hitler’s retreat known as the Eagle’s Nest – Berchtesgaden – in the Bavarian Alps.

He said he didn’t consider himself a hero, but said the real heroes were those soldiers who gave their lives in service of their country.

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