Tonasket students honor veterans with special assembly

Tonasket High School students honored local veterans in a special assembly held last Friday, Nov. 9. Roger Castelda (far left) was one of several veterans gathered on the stage to speak with the students during the assembly.

Tonasket High School students honored local veterans in a special assembly held last Friday, Nov. 9. Roger Castelda (far left) was one of several veterans gathered on the stage to speak with the students during the assembly.

TONASKET – Local veterans turned out for the Tonasket High School Veteran’s Day Assembly Nov. 9. About a dozen veterans attended the morning event, with a packed house of middle and high school students, community members and other visitors.

Several local veterans were honored during the assembly for their service, and some chose to speak. They were later presented with roses by students.

Guest speaker George Frank greeted the students with the trademark holler of “Good morning, Vietnam!” He served in the Vietnam War. Frank is organizing the Tonasket Armed Forces Legacy Project, a memorial designed to honor local vets.

“We have an obligation to veterans of the past, veterans of the present and veterans of the future,” one veteran told the crowd.

The freshman ASB council presented Frank with a check for $483 to help further the Legacy Project.

Plaques are available to anyone wishing to honor a proven veteran for $100, Frank said.

“You live in the freest country in the world,” Frank said. “We have the most liberty of any nation, ever seen.”

He said Americans owe veterans, who have asked for so little, everything available, as they have protected the freedoms many take for granted.

“To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, sometimes it takes a little blood to keep those freedoms.”

The honored veterans included Army Nurse Karen Schimpf, who was invited to the assembly.

“It was a very nice presentation,” Schimpf said.

Her son-in-law, a THS graduate, is currently serving in Iraq as a warrant officer, she said.

The assembly, themed “United We Stand,” included several choir performances, a candle lighting ceremony, PowerPoint presentation honoring Tonasket High School graduates who had served in the armed forces, reading of two poems and the rose presentation. Student Brock Hires also sang the song “God Bless the USA.”

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