Youth turn out to honor vets
November 10, 2008
Those who fought for the U.S. in its many wars had high praise for the more than 100 Carson High School students who set out to honor them.
The Carson High School Naval Jr. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps honored the veterans of every war from World War II to the present, during ceremonies at the high school Monday.
Cliff Yeater, a Vietnam veteran from Stagecoach, said he was impressed by the more than 100 students observing or participating in the ceremony.
“I’ve come to this for several years,” he said. “This is my favorite holiday, along with Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. I guess I am a pretty patriotic kind of guy.”
Pride is what brings him to Carson City for the annual ceremony.
“It’s a feeling of pride,” he said. “Pride in my nation and my fellow veterans.”
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John Warden, commander of Carson City American Legion Post #4, said the concept of young people honoring and appreciating veterans was very important.
“I think it was a great program,” he said. “The Junior ROTC does a great job and does a lot of work during the year.”
Naval JROTC leaders Jessica Frenna, Llanet Robles and Zachary Mapes led the ceremony that honored veterans from each branch of the service and found the experience inspiring.
“I was proud I got to lead the event,” said Frenna, who commanded the JROTC. “It’s great to see all the veterans.”
Mapes, who plans to join the Marines after high school, expects to be in the audience at future ceremonies.
“It’s an honor to be the younger generation saluting those veterans that came before us,” he said.
More than 100 students observed the ceremonies that honored veterans of all wars since the 1940s, including the Cold War, and the Blue Star and Gold Star families.
Robles, who plans to join the Navy after high school, offered the welcoming remarks and recognition of veterans who received high school diplomas during Operation Recognition, a program offered to combat veterans who joined the service before they finished high school.
“It’s a privilege to see the veterans and see the looks on their faces when we announce them,” she said. “They well up, and you can see how proud they are.”
The event included the presenting of the flags for all branches of the services and the recognition of all veterans and their families, along with the reading of essays on “What is a Veteran” and “Freedom is not Free.”
The high school choir sang the National Anthem, the band played patriotic music. Rick James played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, before Taps were played, and students and veterans alike held their hands to their hearts.
Commander Skip Cannaday, a Vietnam veteran, said most kids in the high school are respectful of the military.
“What I try to do is include the kids,” he said. “They are mostly observing, but they are very polite and respectful. I try to encourage participation.”
– Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 881-7351.