Monday, February 20, 2017  
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World War II veteran George Mullen
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Staff Writer

   He didn’t want to stand and be recognized, but a school full of grateful youngsters just wouldn’t let such a patriot go without his due honor.
   George Mullen, who stormed the beaches of France on D-Day, stood as erect and proud as his 89 years would allow. Behind him, the Stars and Stripes provided the background as hundreds of students at Kirk Academy, rapt with respect, listened.
   Perhaps because of age, or because of sheer humility, Mullen declined to speak, but a retired U.S. Brigadier General spoke in his place.
   “Remember the families of military personnel,” said Brigadier General Jerry Dinkelacker. “It’s never easy to send a son or daughter to boot camp.”
   “What would happen if our country didn’t have strong armed forces?” Dinkelacker asked the students.
   Veterans sprinkled throughout the crowd were serenaded by the voices of angels. Miranda Gross sang lead on “God Bless America,” and everybody’s skin tingled. A chorus of lovely young girls sang the fight songs for each of the armed forces.
   Personnel from Camp McCain presented the colors. There was unabashed prayer, right out in the open, like in schools 20 years ago.
   Headmaster Ray Freeman said he had spoken with Mullen earlier, and told him he was a true American hero.
   “No,” Mullen told him. “The real heros are the ones who didn’t come back.”

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