Lee’s Summit High School’s annual Veterans Day assembly focused on the significance of Veterans Day and the sacrifice of veterans. The event also featured a special guest presenter this year, Col. Donald Ballard, one of only 78 living Medal of Honor recipients.
Col. Ballard served in the Navy and later the Kansas Army National Guard from 1965 through 2000, serving in Vietnam and Okinawa. While serving in Vietnam in 1968, he placed himself in the line of fire to aid wounded Marines. Also in 1968, he threw himself over a grenade while treating several wounded servicemen. The grenade failed to detonate, and he calmly returned to administering aid to the wounded soldiers. For his inspiring courage and daring initiative, he received the Medal of Honor.
Due to the size of the school, LSHS hosts two assemblies each Veterans Day -- one for freshmen and juniors and one for sophomores and seniors. In addition, any veteran who is related to a student is invited to attend as well as members of the local chapters of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The event included presentations by the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC as well as a performance by the school’s band. Approximately 50 veterans from the U.S. Armed Forces attended the assemblies.