Students Offer Moving Tribute To Veterans

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Veterans and those who gave their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor were honored at a tribute Dec. 7 in Payson High School gymnasium.

Just minutes prior to the Payson High School boys basketball team taking to the floor for a game against Fountain Hills, the local Civil Air Patrol Cadets presented the colors to an obviously grateful audience that cheered every move of the color guard and a two-man military entourage on hand.

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Hunter Hardt presents miniature U.S. flags to veterans Paul Townsend and Bo Bochansky.

Following the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner," Ret. Air Force Colonel Art Stone, who served as master of ceremonies, introduced a pair of Pearl Harbor Survivors -- Bo Bochansky and Paul Townsend -- to the crowd.

Longhorn basketball player Hunter Hardt left the sidelines where his team was cheering to present small American flags to Bochansky and Townsend.

A moving playing of "Taps" honored those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.

As the tribute wrapped up, Stone beckoned all veterans from the audience to take to the floor, where they enthusiastically shook hands with the PHS basketball players and their coaches.

"I had tears in my eyes," Shirley Hardt, wife of head coach Chuck Hardt, said.

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