Chino Valley's Del Rio Elementary School honored veterans on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 with an assembly that included patriotic songs and poems. Students invited their favorite veterans - dads, moms, uncles, grandpas and neighbors - and introduced them during the assembly. Heidi Dahms Foster shot these photos of the assembly.
By Mrs. Holly Garcia's fifth-grade class
Del Rio Elementary School
For Veteran's Day, we wholeheartedly thank you,
For lending your lives to the red, white and blue.
You have left your families to go overseas
To preserve the freedoms we have in our own country.
Many have been shot and have shed their own blood
In the heat of Iraq and in Afghanistan's mud.
From Europe, to Asia, and distant places galore,
You gave up your safety, so we could have more.
We thank you for risking your own lives for us.
It's a shame that some of you have turned to dust.
Even though there are wars that may not have
We thank you for all of the sacrifices you've done.
Heidi Dahms-Foster Former Editorial Manager
More than a few tears fell this past Thursday as students at Del Rio Elementary School honored veterans in their annual tribute.
The Del Rio Student Council led the program, and students of each class had a part. After the pledge, kindergarten classes sang "Grand Old Flag," first-graders chimed in with "Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue," second-graders sang "God Bless America," third-graders presented "My Country 'tis of Thee," fourth-graders sang "This Land is Your Land," and fifth-graders gave patriotic readings.
Mrs. Holly Garcia's fifth-grade class also wrote a moving poem for the occasion, which Principal Susan Clark like so well she included it in the printed program.
One of the most emotional portions of the assembly came as students brought the veterans, whether family members, neighbors or others they had invited, to the stage and introduced them to the crowd. Some veterans had to help out a student or two who was too shy to speak to the large crowd, but all the students obviously were proud to be on stage with their heroes, who ranged from recent conflicts such as Afghanistan or Iraq to as far back as WWII.
If a student's veteran could not attend, the children were invited to present a photo. Student Arley Tucker showed a photo of her great-grandfather Ollie, a WWII fighter pilot who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo. At 99 years old, he still golfs, she said.
Veteran Murrell Worth of the Chino Valley American Legion Post 40 spoke to the crowd of students, veterans and community members about how the National Anthem came to be, and then students proudly presented the post with toys they had collected for their "Tots for Tots" program and letters they wrote for soldiers.
The Tots for Tots program collects small toys that soldiers can give to children in areas where they are serving. Clark said the students this year collected more toys for children in war-torn areas than ever before.
The students have a display cabinet at the school where they keep a flag flown overseas and letters sent to them by grateful soldiers.
After the ceremony a sobered and proud crowd left the gym into the stormy afternoon.