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11/7/2013 10:11:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Schools working together to honor veterans

Sebastian Moraga
Staff writer

For the second year in a row, the three schools in the Cashmere School District will work together to honor the area's veterans.

Instead of having veterans, some of whom have children or grandchildren at different buildings, go to three different ceremonies, the city's real-life heroes will receive the thanks of the area's youth all at once on Nov. 8: first at a a breakfast, then a parade and then a luncheon.

The day starts with a breakfast of doughnuts and coffee at Vale Elementary School, said Bryan McNair, a high school student and a member of CHS' leadership class which helps coordinate the daylong list of events.

"It's kind of a meet-and-greet so some of the elementary kids can meet [veterans] and see them, and kind of get of a lowdown of what's going on," said McNair. "Kind of a gathering place so all the veterans have a place to go first."

After that, the veterans will gather between Vale and the school district office, from where they will depart on the parade around town and to the high school, starting around 9:15 a.m.

"Almost like your senior caravan," McNair said. "Just not so crazy."

The high school will host a large assembly at 9:45 a.m., with an open invitation for any veteran who wants to show up, McNair said.

The assembly is also open for students from every grade, he added.

The assembly will be followed by a l1:15 a.m. luncheon at the Cashmere High School Community Center for all the veterans. A veteran, McNair said is anyone who has graduated basic training, whether active or retired.

"Anybody who is serving or has served our country in any way shape or form," he said. One sibling of McNair served in the Marines for eight years and another is currently in the Marines.

McNair asked students of all three schools to either wear red-white-and-blue colors or shirt and tie for the boys and a dress or a skirt for the girls.

This is the second year in at least the last 20 that all three schools work together to honor veterans, said Cashmere Middle School librarian Shelly Milne, who heads the Leadership class for CMS students. Last year was the first joint effort of students grades 4-12, with first- through third-graders holding their own ceremony.

This is the first year all grades will participate, with even the youngest children making the trip to the high school for the assembly. Students from all three schools will perform during the assembly and all the veterans will be introduced by a student from the schools.

"We wanted it to be meaningful for all students," said Milne, whose brother and stepfather were in the military.

She added, "I think it shows how important celebrating Veterans Day is to our three schools," Milne said. "It takes a lot more time and coordination to work with all three schools."

Cashmere Middle School students worked with McNair and his Leadership classmates. To Milne, that shows the level of commitment from the younger children. The Leadership class at the high school starts at 7:10 a.m.

"I said, 'We have been invited to go to the high school meeting, and 10 kids raised their hands, and said they wanted to go," Milne said. "They are very enthusiastic."

Sebastian Moraga can be reached at 782-3781 or reporter@cashmerevalleyrecord.com.



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