Sacrifice was the recurring theme of the 129th Commencement exercises at Shepherd College Saturday afternoon.
The sacrifices of the military to keep America strong and free permeated the keynote address of W.Va. Adjutant General Allen E. Tackett of the West Virginia National Guard.
"I promised not to talk solely about the military," Tackett said as he began his address to a standing-room-only crowd at the college's Butcher Center. He quickly added that would it be difficult since the history of America is so intertwined with its military history.
All military personnel, past and present, were asked to stand and be recognized. They were met with thunderous applause.
Tackett noted that 800 West Virginians were mobilized after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and are doing their part to keep America safe and free.