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The 411: Youth

Poth students thank local veterans

Poth students thank local veterans
U.S. Air Force veteran Bryan Crouch enjoys the Veterans Day event with his wife and grandchildren.

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November 20, 2013
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By Alyson Garza

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -- John F. Kennedy

On Nov. 11, the Poth elementary, junior high, and high school campuses came together to celebrate Veterans Day. The ceremony began with Superintendent Scott Caloss giving an introductory speech and recognizing the veterans by their branch of service. The FFA then did the presentation of colors, and the band played the national anthem.

The junior high read the history of the poppy, which is symbolic to Veterans Day because it is a wartime symbol from a poem written in 1915 by John McCrae, called “In Flanders Field.” Fourth- and fifth-graders selected by Lisa West read poems they wrote to the veterans.

Finally, the second- and third-graders sang “America, the Beautiful,” and the band played two patriotic songs, “Courage and Valor” and “Armed Forces on Parade.”

This day means a lot to the veterans and their families. I got the chance to speak with some of the veterans that attended the ceremony. Veteran Bryan Crouch of the U.S. Air Force said, “[Today is] very important. Today we always remember.” Mr. Crouch was at the ceremony with his granddaughter, seventh-grader MaKayla Miller, and some of her younger sisters. Makayla said, “It makes me proud that I have had family in the service.”

Veteran David Conn of the U.S. Marine Corps attended with his grandchildren, sophomore Miguel Gutierrez, his younger sister, Miana Gutierrez, and their cousins Kenna and Montiego Conn.

Mr. Conn said this day is important to him because, “I get to spend it with my grandkids.”

Poth High School welding teacher Cornelio Ontiveros, who is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, said, “It takes time to remember the ones that aren’t here, the ones that gave their lives so we could be free. Today, especially, we must never forget.”

Our very own principal, Mr. Frank Hosek, is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He was given a framed poem with signatures from the student body, which was presented to him at the ceremony.

Mr. Hosek and many other veterans are honored, not only on Veterans Day, but every day, for their time and service to this great country. As it is said, “freedom isn’t free.” However, thanks to these local veterans, as well as veterans across the country, we Americans can live our everyday lives in peace under the protection of our nation’s great men and women in service.

Alyson Garza is a junior at Poth High School. The Junior Journalist is a member of the Color Guard and Poth Pirate Band; she participates in UIL journalism. The daughter of Jimmy and Rosa Garza hopes to study to be a registered nurse and would like to travel with missionaries to other countries.

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