Country roads, take me home to Tigard High’s Veterans Day Assembly


CJ Hilgaertner

At the Veterans Day Assembly each veteran in attendance receives a rose.

By Liz Blodgett, Features Editor


     On Nov. 9 veterans from around the Portland metropolitan area came to school for a breakfast and an assembly to honor them for all they did for the country.

    As everyone walked into the assembly, the band played upbeat tunes to get everyone excited. After everyone gathered in the gym, teacher Tim Hummel stepped up to the podium to introduce staff members Chuck Laiti and Gus Jaramillo as they did the presentation of the colors. Laiti retired at the end of last year, but at Jaramillo’s request, he cut his hair, donned his uniform and came back to school again to keep their tradition of presenting the flag going.

    Veteran speakers, Ian Beaty and Nathaniel Patterson, described their experiences and memories of the military.

    “I loved the Veterans Day Assembly; it is very touching, and I love respecting the people who have served and fought for our country,” junior Anoushka Chilakala said.

    A Tigard tradition is to not only recognize the veterans as a whole but also to call out each of their individual names and present them with a rose. Most of the veterans were given a rose by a member of the leadership; however, some where given a rose by their children or grandchildren to make the experience of the ceremony a bit more special for those individuals.

    Air Force Veteran Ronald Blodgett was a first time attendee who explained his view on the assembly.

    “It was all good! I loved eating breakfast with my granddaughter and speaking to other veterans. But, the best part was sitting in the gym and listening to the intelligent speakers and receiving a rose from my granddaughter while being honored for my service,” Blodgett said.

    Head custodian Gus Jaramillo, explained how the Veterans Day Assembly is important and is one of the most influential things that Tigard High puts together.

    “It is special because it brings people together and that’s what we need to do. Be united together because we are all humans,” Jaramillo said.

    Kara Petrich sang a rousing version of John Denver’s “Country Road” after the rose presentation. Many in the audience sang along. She dedicated the song to her grandfather.

    At the end of the assembly, students were allowed to come down and start a conversation with a veteran if they wished to. This allowed the high schoolers an opportunity to say thank you. A few, who were considering joining the military in the near future, had a chance to ask what it is really like out there. The Veterans Day Assembly is Tigard’s way of connecting the older generations with the younger generations in a way to create unity within the Tigard community.