November 15, 2017
By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA--Several Walnut Valley USD campuses hosted assemblies and activities to honor local veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces.
During the past two weeks, HARTT Center students completed a total of 17 patriotic blankets for veteran residents at Valley Oaks hospice facility in Walnut and Oakmont Senior Living Villagio Memory Care in Brea. “We wanted to thank the veterans for their service and for them to have a comfortable gift to use daily,” said instructional aide Christine Hebert. The 18-22-year-old special education students tied the cozy blankets together and folded them neatly before they were delivered last weekend.
On November 6, Walnut High students participated in a Veteran’s Day assembly to learn more our nation’s heroes. The veterans, ranging from commanders to soldiers, educated students about their past experiences in the military. They shared stories about their enlistment, motivations to enlist, and experiences with enemy encounters. They also shared photos to help students visualize posts where the military squads were assigned in foreign countries. “I definitely felt inspired as the veteran was telling us about his experiences,” sophomore Brian Thurston said.
Suzanne Middle School students honored veterans in the community with a celebration on November 9. Fathers and grandfathers who served, as well as Walnut Mayor Mary Su and Mayor Pro-Tem Nancy Tragarz attended the special assembly. Veterans were celebrated in song and poetry, and then attended a breakfast with Drama, PALS and PLUS students where they were able to share their stories with students and each other.
Chaparral Middle School held its annual Veteran’s Day 8th grade assembly and evening concert for the general public on November 8 to commemorate Veteran’s Day. The concert is a collaboration of the Arts Department and Social Studies teachers with combined performances of over 300 students in Wind Ensemble, Sinfonia, Choir, Art Work with the theme of Peace and Videos that enhance the music by 8th grade digital video production students.
The South Pointe Middle School Wind Ensemble performed during the City of Diamond Bar’s Veteran’s Day celebration on November 8. After the ceremony, the student musicians enjoyed brunch with the veterans and listened to their stories of service. “We are very honored to be a part of this annual event and truly enjoy connecting with these members of our community,” said director Susan Willmering. The Wind Ensemble then took a group picture and asked Wanda Tanaka to take the place of her late husband, Jack Tanaka. “Each year in the past, we had taken a picture with Mr. Tanaka (in his uniform) and felt it was a tradition which we felt could continue with Mrs. Tanaka.” The event concluded with students waiting in line to give her a hug!