Events honoring veterans blossomed throughout Gig Harbor and the surrounding area last week.
On Thursday, Vaughn Elementary students introduced parents who were either still serving or were veterans, sang the hymns of the several military services and displayed their flags. Fifth-graders Conner Burton and Ivy Stevens were surprised scholarship winners for essays on patriotism from the sponsoring Key Peninsula Veterans, and Boy Scout Cub Pack 222 and Girl Scout Troop 46453 presented the colors.
To Vaughn third-graders Jenny Lohrey: “Veterans Day is important to celebrate because it reminds us of people who have served in every branch of our military.”
Corbin Cohoe learned to shake a veteran’s hand, and “to say thank you for serving the United States.”
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Classmates Eastan Seymour liked “singing about veterans because it’s about honoring them,” and Anthony Morello feels, “veterans are really important to me because they helped save our country and risked their lives.”
The same day, Evergreen Elementary’s gymnasium was wall to wall with students, relatives and friends who enjoyed the presentation of the colors by Boy Scout Pack 122, patriotic songs sung by students beneath an overhead large screen projection of appropriate scenes, and fifth-graders Devin Sak-Bachini and Chloe Brickles won the KP Vets’ awards.
“I am a first-year Cub Scout,” said first-grader Lucas Anderson. “I got to help carry the flag! It made me feel good!”
Sak-Bachinim said, “My step dad was amazed that I chose to interview him because he loved his service for the Army and the Purple Heart he earned. It made me feel really good to show veterans we care and are proud of them!”
To fourth-grader Emily Means, “Our assembly at Evergreen allowed us to thank veterans for all they’ve done and are doing for our county! I loved singing for them!”
“My dad, Christopher, is from the Navy! We all sang happy, thankful songs. It made me feel great!” said third-grader Cayden Wherry.
“My dad, Matt, was in the Army! Our veterans assembly was to say thank you to the people in the service,” said kindergartener Lucia Sanford.
Said second-grader Jeramy Wyatt: “We celebrated our soldiers who gave us freedom by singing music!”
Also Thursday, the Veterans Day gymnasium at Purdy Elementary was a crowded scene of veterans’ families, students and staff honoring the occasion. Honored speakers were U.S. Army Maj. Clyde Carpenter, retired Navy Capt. Larry Seaquist and Army wife Lauren Holmstrom, who described life when a spouse is deployed.
Purdy student comments on Veterans Day activities were: “It’s a good way to know where my dad is …” said first-grader Everett Earl.
To fourth-graders Ellis Anderson, “It’s a great day to celebrate those who served!” and Nate Gender, “It’s a red, white, and blue celebration!”
Said fifth-grader Chloe DeMark, “We honored veterans who protect our country!” Classmates Kiara Ferrel and Will Moore honored “people who have sacrificed their time and lives for us.”
On Friday, members of Fox Island’s Boy Scout Troop 27 attended Veterans Day on the proper date at the Peninsula Retirement home in Gig Harbor, where, under guidance of former Troop 27 Scoutmaster John Ohlson, they honored veterans who are residents.
Friday also saw the dedication at the Artondale Cemetery of a columbarium, a joint gift to the community from Herman Uddenberg, VFW Post 1854 and American Legion Post 236, with participation from the Knights of Columbus Council 9238, Boy Scouts from Troop 212, and the Olympic Peninsula Veterans Color and Honor Guard with the support of the Artondale Cemetery Association.
On Sunday, in his retired uniform, Coast Guard Petty Officer Larry Manning led the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church color guard of veterans Gary Watts, Joe Summers, Ken Wheeler, Gary Meyers, Dan Larsen, John Roberts, Ken Tummess, Larry Gerringer and David Smith at the church’s annual Veterans Banquet.