November 14, 2012
Ottawa-Glandorf Schools held three separate Veterans Day programs on Friday, November 10, to honor the great men and women who made sacrifices for our country.
Veterans from Ottawa’s Kerner-Slusser American Legion Post 63 and Recker-Trame VFW Post 9142 participated in programs at Glandorf Elementary, Ottawa-Glandorf High School, and Ottawa Elementary. The veterans’ color guard placed their colors and the United States flag at each school while the students and guests somberly recalled the freedoms and rights we have are due to their selfless service.
Students lined the school’s hallway, holding American flags, to welcome those in attendance. Drake Lammers, Glandorf’s Student Council President, declared to the veterans, “Thank you for service in times of war and as keepers of peace. You inspire students to appreciate times of war.” Sixth grade students dressed in attire from different wars and recited facts and focal points of each war. The fifth and sixth grade chorale sang patriotic songs, while eighth grade students presented a slide show complete with music. The entire school created a “Hall of Fame” wall that stood in the front passage. The wall had “bricks” displaying friends’ and relatives’ names that had served in the military. There was also an exhibit of military memorabilia, complete with photos. Ann Cramer, Glandorf’s music teacher, coordinated the program.
Ottawa-Glandorf High School
The OGHS Student Council, under the direction of staff members Kelly Von Sossan and Lindsay Duling, organized the assembly. Members of the Ottawa-Glandorf band performed “The National Anthem,” and other patriotic songs. Jeanette Kaufman read the poem, “Thank You Veterans.” The choir sang “American Heroes,” as Jacob Wells asked that each veteran stand to be recognized when his/her branch of the military was announced. After Wells read the story behind “Taps,” Cody Hanneman and Jeremy Coleson played “Taps.” John Schaub told the history of Veterans Day. Brad Leis, American Government teacher, read a letter from Zach Wobler, an O-G graduate who gave his life while serving in Iraq. Veteran Dave Yoder told the audience that he served in the Army during the Korean War, and returned to Ottawa to teach junior high science and coach numerous athletic teams. Student council members treated veterans to lunch in the school’s cafeteria.
Fifth and sixth grade students sang “We Honor Those Who Serve.” Lori Smith, intermediate school social studies teacher, explained flag etiquette to the audience. She related that Mary Jackson, a former Ottawa resident, had visited OE last year to talk to the students about her husband’s military service and her sacrifice while he served. Jackson felt such a connection to the students that she gave Smith the American flag that had draped her husband’s casket. The veterans used that flag to demonstrate the proper flag-folding technique; students Samantha Okuly and Alanis Arrizola assisted them. A student-created slide show with music was shown. Yoder spoke to the attendees about what the flag meant to him. Smith, Betty Metzger, and Cathy Sdao coordinated the program. Earlier in the day, veteran Travis Ricker told the junior high students about his three tours in Iraq. All week, portions of the book “America’s White Table” were read to the students, and a display was set up in the gym. The children also fashioned a “Wall of Honor,” made of “bricks” with friends’ and relatives’ names that had served in the military.
Veterans appreciated the ceremonies and the recognition. Brad Nelson, a Marine Corp veteran, whose daughter, Tygan, attends Glandorf, commented, “This is really nice. They didn’t have this when I was in school. Tygan wanted me to come.” Other veterans voiced that they appreciate being thanked for their service.
It was a day to remember the people from our community who earned the freedoms and rights we have.
Thank you, Veterans, thank you.