Oroville schools salute veterans with assembly

Gary DeVon/staff photo Some of the local veterans who attended last Thursday's Veteran's Day Assembly at Oroville High School.

Gary DeVon/staff photo
Some of the local veterans who attended last Thursday’s Veteran’s Day Assembly at Oroville High School.

OROVILLE – Oroville schools held a special Veteran’s Day Assembly to honor local veterans last Thursday in Coulton Auditorium. OHS senior Max Turner, acting as emcee, welcome the veterans and the community. The assembly started with a color guard made up of members of American Legion Hodges Post #84.

Senor Max Turner served as emcee.

Senor Max Turner served as emcee.

“We’re here today to honor our heroes, to remember their achievements, their courage and their dedication and to say thank you for their sacrifice,” said Turner. “Thinking of the heroes who join us in the group today and those who are here only in spirit, a person can’t help but feel awed by the enormity of what we encounter. We stand in the midst of patriots and the family and friends of those who nobly served.” The Oroville High School Choir then sang “Let Freedom Ring.” “Veteran’s Day, originally called Armistice Day, was originally designated as a day to celebrate the end of World War I, Nov. 11, 1918 and the legislation that created Armistice Day, and I quote, ‘dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hearfter known as Armistice Day,” said Turner. Following World War II and the Korean War, veterans’ groups lobbied for a change for a holiday that would honor all veterans from every war and conflict — that’s how Armistice Day was changed to Veteran’s Day, according to Turner. “Today’s gathering is just one small spark in the flame of pride that burns across the nation today and every day. It’s not a lot, but it’s one small way we can honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in freedom,” Turner said. Turner then introduced Louie Wilson, commander of the local American Legion Post, who thanked the students for putting on the assembly.

The Junior High Band performs "Song of Praise."

The Junior High Band performs “Song of Praise.”

The Junior High Band followed with a performance of “Song of Praise” by F.J. Hayden. Then a video called “I am a Veteran” was shown. The sixth grade choir then sang “America the Beautiful.” Turner asked for all the veterans at the assembly to stand. “Thank you for answering the call to duty. It is because of men and women like you that our star spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” Turner said. “Over the years many graduates of our school have answered the call to duty. From the doughboys crouched in the muddy trenches of France to the platoons who patrolled the hazy jungles of Vietnam and today’s men and women patrolling the mountains of Afghanistan, Oroville Graduates have been there. This was followed by a slideshow of some of the recent Oroville graduates that are currently serving in the Armed Forces.

Walt and Vicki Hart perform the flag folding ceremony.

Walt and Vicki Hart perform the flag folding ceremony.

Following that a video, entitled “I Fought for You,” was shown and many were visibly teary eyed as a grandfather takes his grandsons to see a movie about serving. At first the kids continue to play with their phones, then get drawn into the movie and see their granddad in a new light.

The Oroville High School Choir sings "Let Freedom Ring."

The Oroville High School Choir sings “Let Freedom Ring.”

“Your presence here today and that of the people gathering all across America is a tribute to those men and women who we honor for their courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and to the United States of America,” said Turner, who then added, “Thank you for attending and God bless America.”

The Sixth Grade Chorus performs "America the Beautiful."

The Sixth Grade Chorus performs “America the Beautiful.”

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.