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Ashley Celebrates Veterans Day(November, 2007)


Juan Hernandez and daughter, Elyssia at Veterans DayAshley Elementary honored all U.S. Military Veterans, Friday, November 9, 2007, during the Veteran’s Day Assembly.   Veteran’s were greeted at the door and had reserved seating for this grand event.  The local Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard joined the assembly with the posting and retiring of the colors.

After a moving duet of the National Anthem, song by veteran Rebecca Trimble, Ashley’s music teacher, and veteran Renita Atwater, fifth grade teacher, President George Bush’s 2007 Veteran’s Day Proclamation was read by principal, Kathy Kazanski.  The Ashley choir then lead the crowd in singing “America the Beautiful.” 

Several students from second through fifth grade shared letters and papers that were written paying tribute to Veterans, including a letter written to Army Major J.B. Worley.  Second graders from Mrs. Marci Bowerman’s class had written Major Worley letters and had the honor of sharing the letter he had written back in response.  Army Major J.B. Worley was the keynote speaker last year and is now across seas serving in Iraq and Kuwait


Retired Chief Warrant Officer Four Keith Shivers, husband of P.E. assistant and Veteran Tracey Shivers, shared several points from his career flying Comanche helicopters.  C.W. 4 Shivers showed students his helmet used while piloting the Comanche.  He explained that the helmet aimed one of the helicopter guns wherever he was looking.  Along with the helmet, C.W. 4 Shivers brought along a D2 casing shot at him from a tank.  He shared with the crowd the moment he realized the great sacrifice men and women make for freedom as he watched soldiers on the ground fall under fire.  Ashley students sat in silence as they watched captivating pictures of U.S. military men and women flash across the screen


Ashley Student Council read facts about the creation, meaning, and history of the flag as the Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard demonstrated the proper way to fold an American flag.  Student Council members reminded the crowd that the flag represents who we are, our patriotism, and serves as a beacon of hope.

Ashley Students were also honored by having Retired Lt. Col. Donald Walters and Retired Lt. Col. Marie Walters speak to the audience about their time in the military.  Lt. Col. Marie Walters received both her masters and her doctorate during her military service, and spent most of her time improving the design of military cockpits.  Even with an amazing career spent working in top secret “Black Projects,” in remote parts of the country, Lt. Col. Marie Walters says her most important job has been her job as a wife and mother.

The ceremony closed with the retiring of the colors by the Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard and a performance of “Taps,” by first grade teacher, Chris Kilburn.  Audience members were touched by the program.  “I was really moved by the Veteran's Day assembly.