The late Jacob Butler, Wellsville, along with his fallen comrades, Christopher Wasser, Ottawa, and Michael Brown, Williamsburg, and 67 other soldiers are set for salute at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday on the Wellsville High School football field. The annual, public event is expected to begin with a flag raising and the national anthem, Jim Soden, Wellsville Middle School counselor, said.
Following remarks by Casey Quinlan, a Wellsville teacher, Kaitlyn Butler and other eighth-graders are expected to attach the names of the honored soldiers to balloons, which then will be released.
While the Sept. 11 service has been at the high school before, Soden said, this year’s event — with its set schedule of events — marks a change from previous tributes, in which students and community members walked on the track at the school for 9 hours and 11 minutes.
“We have not gotten great support in the past,” Soden said. “I think if we do something at a specific time of day where people know when it is, maybe we can get some members of the community out.”
Wellsville has strong ties to the military, he said, and young people need to remember soldiers’ service.
“Especially with Kaitlyn being in the class, [the students] are really going to be accepting of what this is all about,” Soden said.
Army Sgt. Jacob Butler, 24, died April 1, 2003, in As Samawah, Iraq.
Army Spc. Michael Brown died because of an illness Oct. 16, 2007, at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, after being transported from Tikrit, Iraq.