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story.lead_photo.caption Photo by Patrick Lanford Band members, directed by Karri Wesson, played patriotic music at the special Veterans Day assembly held at Gentry High School on Friday.

— On Friday, Nov. 11, Gentry High School held an assembly for Gentry's local veterans. Students, teachers, community members and veterans attended the assembly, held in the high school auditorium.

At the beginning of the assembly, Staff Sergeants Gavin Osnes, Dane Zimmerman, Joey Fowler, and Technical Sergeant Joshua Osbourn presented the colors. The high school choir and band also performed in honor of the veterans. Senior choir members, Colton Little and Audra Weathers had solo parts in the choir performance of "In Flanders Fields," and junior Amanda Smith played "Taps" following a moment of silence.

"I was really happy to do the solo, although I was super nervous," said Smith. "My performance was out of respect for the veterans who gave their lives to give us the freedom we have today."

There were multiple speakers at the assembly. Michael Graham, Gentry High School teacher and Army veteran combat engineer, presented a slideshow, and Staff Sergeant Gavin Osnes spoke to students. The speeches were about the importance of Veterans Day and how Veterans Day began. Veterans Day is to honor the people who have risked their lives for our country and to honor those who have fallen to protect our country.

"It was a tremendous honor to represent GHS at the Veteran's Assembly," said Graham. "The students were very respectful and I felt they gave their full attention."

There was a slide show presentation at the assembly with pictures dedicated to the veterans.

Besides having members of the military speak, there were also some Gentry students who spoke to introduce and conclude the assembly, including seniors Derek German, Alex Savage, Jessica Sykes, Aaron Walker, junior Hannah Boss and sophomore Courtney McCollum.

GHS extends special thanks to Garden Gate Flowers for the flowers on the stage, McKee Foods for the snack cakes that were given to students, and the Academic Booster Club for the veterans' reception. Thanks also goes out to Karri Wesson, Casey Jones and the GHSCC band and choir for their performances.

High school art teacher Jessica Westhafer and the GHSCC Art Club made the Wall of Remembrance on which students, faculty and community members could write the name of a veteran in remembrance of their service. This Wall of Remembrance will be on display in the community room at the Gentry Public Library.

Sidney Kinser, GHS senior, said, "The assembly was very informative and I enjoyed hearing all the stories from the veterans. It made me appreciate all of the military people and veterans who have served our country to protect us."

"We felt it was important to recognize our local veterans and educate our students on the importance of Veterans Day," added Indistar team member Kristen Smartt. "It was something that had never been done at our school. We feel it is important and a priority to provide more opportunities for our students to have a better understanding of the world outside the classroom. I have heard lots of positive feedback from students, staff and the community. Many students said they appreciated getting to learn about Veterans Day and several community and staff said it was a very moving presentation. We plan to have the assembly again next year," she said.

Community on 11/16/2016

Print Headline: Honoring Our Veterans

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