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Posted on Nov 16, 2018

Pioneer Elementary School assembly honors veterans

November 9 wasn’t just any day at Pioneer Elementary School in Quincy. As a matter of fact, it was THE day; the much-rehearsed occasion to honor veterans.
All the classes gathered at the gym at 9:30 a.m., taking their assigned spots on the floor, while six guests of honors, six veterans, settled onto their seats, facing the crowd.

Don Snyder, a veteran who served in the Navy as Aviation Mate Second Class, shares his military recollections with the Pioneer Elementary School audience.
Photo by Jaana Hatton/For the Post-Register

To get the event into an appropriate start, after the Pledge of Allegiance everyone participated in singing “America, America.”
The program flowed into a well-arranged PowerPoint photo presentation of veterans, past and present, who were related to some of the students. It was a reminder that veterans are still serving among us, even if not in uniform. They may be the baker, the mailman or the electrician.
A video-reading of a picture book titled “Veterans – Heroes in Our Neighborhood” further encouraged everyone to pay attention to how veterans are a part of the community.
After the video presentations, a group of Pioneer students took the stage to read aloud facts and their thanks regarding veterans – clearly, they had rehearsed and rehearsed some more. Nobody missed a line or turn.
Ms. Thompson, a teacher, continued by reading a picture book titled “The Wall,” where 58,000 thousand names of deceased veterans are carved in stone. The wall is, of course, the memorial for Vietnam veterans in Washington, D.C.
To close the occasion, and to decorate it, Don Snyder shared his recollections of military life. Snyder served as Aviation Mate Second Class in the Navy. Other veterans in attendance were Gordon Snyder, Joseph James, Raymond Stuhlmiller, Charles Sepulvede and Ernest Sanchez.
“Each generation has the privilege and responsibility to maintain freedom,” Snyder said. “That is why people serve.”
He took a pause or two when his emotions got the best of him, but he continued and finished by saying, “Freedom is not free. Honor those who have served.”

By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register