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Local veterans honored at annual GHS event; Program planned by GHS senior Hailey Sullivan

GHS Veterans Day Assembly drew at least 70 area veterans.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
GHS Veterans Day Assembly drew at least 70 area veterans.

— “I wanted to do something to thank our area veterans,” said Grangeville High School ASB president Hailey Sullivan. “I hope this assembly helps to do just that.”

Sullivan organized the annual Veterans Day tribute at GHS last Wednesday, Nov. 11.

“I plan to go to school, work hard and say thanks by cherishing my rights and freedoms,” Sullivan added.

More than 70 area veterans and 200 audience members as well as the student body packed into the GHS gym to honor veterans. The GHS band and choirs performed, each veteran had his or her name read and were given a flower and card, and thoughts from GHS students were read aloud.

“Due to the advances in technology, transportation and overall care in the field, more veterans are coming home than ever before – though they are coming home injured,” said guest speaker Tom Overly of Grangeville. “It is imperative we address the needs of our vets, physically, medically, mentally, socially.”

Overly spent 22 years in the U.S. Army, 12 on active duty. He is currently employed by Syringa Hospital as a nurse anesthetist.

“Voters – you can influence what decisions are made for our veterans and exercise your freedoms by voting,” Overly encouraged. “Students – the military needs bright, young minds. Consider this investment in your communities and your country.”

Quilts of Valor were presented to several veterans. To date, more than 200 quilts have been given out to Camas Prairie military veterans. Nationally, more than 128,000 quilts have been contributed.

“We are here today, in part, to honor the unspoken memories of those who served in the military,” said one GHS student.

Teacher and assembly supporter Pat Sullivan finished the main part of the assembly by not only thanking everyone involved, but also by speaking directly to the student body.

“Many say our different generations do not communicate well, do not understand each other. I have the firm conviction that your generation will honor the sacrifices made by the men and woman of the armed forces,” he said. “I believe in you and believe you will show these veterans you care by doing the right things. By continuing your education and protecting those you love. I believe in this generation.”

The commemoration ended with the students making a “human tunnel” for the veterans to go through, a longtime tradition at the school. Each veteran was thanked by hundreds of students as the band played songs of the various service branches. The local Eagles Aerie members handed out cookies to the veterans at the end of the tunnel.


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