Eva Turner students honor veterans at event
Active, retired militar y personnel presented certificates
On Friday, Eva Turner Elementary School honored the heroes in its midst by presenting cer- tificates of appreciation to students’ parents, family members and friends who served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The second annual Vet- erans Day Celebration at Eva Turner was led by the school’s vice princi- pal, Jason Deihl, himself a veteran.
“In 2007, I, like all the veterans who are sitting here today, took a leap and I raised my right hand to defend the Unit- ed States Constitution from all enemies, went off to basic training, became a soldier, became a part of the greatest army on the face of this earth,” Deihl said.
Deihl said that, when he was the age of Eva Turner’s students, he didn’t really understand the cour- age, commitment and sacrifice required of U.S. service members.
“I want our students to understand, because the people that are sit- ting here have risked and sacrificed more than people can ever imag- ine. They’ve spent time away from their loved ones, they’ve spent time away from their families, they’ve spent time away from their children,” Deihl said. “That’s a huge sacrifice, it really is, and I didn’t realize it until I was in that position myself.”
Deihl thanked the veterans who attended, 25 in all, for their service to their country, and each was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the school.
“We owe them our lives, our freedom, our ability to live as we please,” Deihl said.
Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, to commemorate the Nov. 11, 1918, cessation of hostilities that ended World War I.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill changing the holiday to Veterans Day, and designating it a day to honor all veterans, living and deceased.
“While the name has changed over the years, the purpose has remained unchanged: to remember the sacrifice of those who have died and to honor those who are still with us. We owe so much to our veterans,” Deihl said.
Student Jayla Kelley read a poem, “The Best on Earth,” and Latoya Ligonde’s third grade class performed “God Bless America.”
Fifth grade student Naima Ligonde later read the poem, “The Noble and the Brave” and music teacher Stephanie Boyer performed “God Bless the U.S.A.”
“We will not take these liberties that you fought for for granted,” Orlena Whatley, Eva Turner’s principal, told veterans.
The program concluded with students leading a parade in honor of veterans.
Eva Turner Elementary School Principal Orlena Whatley leads applause for veterans who attended the school’s Veterans Day program Friday. STAFF PHOTOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU
Eva Turner music teacher Stephanie Boyer leads third graders in a performance of “God Bless America.”
Eva Turner Elementary School student Jayla Kelley reads the poem, “The Best on Earth.”
Eva Turner Elementary School Vice Principal Jason Deihl presents U.S. Air Force veteran Carole Cypress with a certificate during the school’s Veterans Day program Friday.
Eva Turner Elementary School students hold their hands over their hearts for a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” during the school’s Veterans Day program Friday.