Veteran’s Day Assembly

By Taylor Wilhoit, Staff Writer

The T.H.S. gym was filled on Friday as students and staff gathered with members of the community in an assembly honoring the veterans. Gus Jaramillo and senior Liz Irving presented the colors, and the veterans rose to salute their colors. As the whole gym stood for the national anthem- sung by Concert Choir, accompanied by the band- a patriotic optimism filled the room. Gathered in chairs on the floor were about 30 veterans, including Tigard’s own Mr. Fulton, Mr. Laiti, and Mr. Jaramillo.

After the anthem, choir and band again took the stage as they sang the songs of each unit of military, with the vets standing for their song.

“That was the best part of the assembly, singing for them and watching them get emotional as we sang them their songs,” said junior Ashley Dawes. “It was so touching, seeing some of them wipe away tears. It meant a lot.”

In years past, the Veteran’s Day assembly was always a sad one. Filled with heartwarming videos and touching letters from soldiers who never made it home, many tears were shed in remembrance of the sacrifice that service brings. But this year, leadership decided to make this a more upbeat, positive meeting. With two guest speakers, both women who had served, their energy filled the room as they talked passionately about their time serving the country.

“I wanted to bring a voice  of a younger veteran.  I wanted you guys to see  a veteran that didn’t fit the mold of what a typical veteran was,” says veteran speaker Lacey, “Everyone wants to go out and serve your community, but where do you start?” The main point of her message was addressing just that.

After presenting the veterans with their roses as a small token of our thanks, senior Kevin Henderson ( who was the MC of the event) asked all students who were thinking about joining the service. As students applauded their peers, senior Liz Irving stood with pride.

“I want a challenge,” she said when asked about her choice. “I want to learn everything I can about the world, to be tested beyond what I think is possible. I want a chance to follow all those who have sacrificed to keep this country safe, to defend the values and ideals upon which America was built. The top-of-the-line education, guaranteed employment and job training are a plus, too.”

Irving will follow in the footsteps of many brave people, to secure the freedom of our country. This assembly was all about our gratitude for her- and others- decision.

To close the assembly, senior Brooke Wolf danced a moving piece in honor of her grandfather, who was a veteran. As she pirouetted and leaped, you could see the emotion on her face as she danced her heart out. The crowd stood and cheered at the end as she blew a kiss heavenward.