|Bryce Syndergaard and Ray Wareham present the colors.|
San Rafael Junior High School in Ferron paid tribute to Veterans at a program on Veteran's Day. Many Veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces were in attendance. The program began with a welcome by school principal Garth Johnson. The flag was then posted by the American Legion. The National Anthem was sung by Kaitlin Reaves, Angela Larsen, Megan Brown and Tiffany Larsen. Also in attendance was the women's auxiliary of the American Legion from Ferron.
Alex Judd read a tribute to Charles Durrant, a teacher at San Rafael who is currently serving in Baghdad, Iraq. The San Rafael chorus presented a song called Freedom. Each of the Veterans were honored with the playing of the anthem from their branch of the service. The Veterans were given a standing ovation by the students.
Dory Peacock, Morgan Clark, Justin Oakeson, Brantz Woolsey, Kaitlin Reaves and Erica Weber spoke to the audience on the importance of the Veterans and their contribution to America and thanked them for leaving family, friends and jobs to keep us free.
Mr. Durrant's wife, April spoke to the students and presented a slide show. She said this is the second deployment their family has been through with the first being Desert Storm. She read a portion of a letter that Mr. Durrant had sent home detailing some of his experiences in Baghdad. He told of a small boy who brought the soldiers a box of ammunition and wanted a dollar for it. When they gave him a dollar and took the ammunition more kids appeared with ammunition and traded it for money. The soldiers began giving the kids MREs, meals ready to eat, instead of money and the kids grumbled but continued to come and bring ammo. The soldiers jokingly called the situation the Weapons for Food program.
April said that Mr. Durrant is keeping a journal of his adventures and is anxious to share the stories with the students upon his return.
"The reason Charles is in Iraq is to secure the future for his children and for all the children in the world and he is doing so with pride, humor and courage. He thanks you for all of the cards, letters and email he has received and for your support. Be proud and stand up for your beliefs, I am proud of my husband and proud to be an American," said April.
Wade Adison and Kenny Baker read a narration and then the song American Heroes was sung. Courtney Reynolds and Dory Peacock read the poem Some Gave All.
The next speakers were Brantz Woosley, Jordan Sanders, Dory Peacock, Morgan Clark, Lindsey Diggs, Shadoe Sitterud, Tanner Crawford and Allison Peterson.
A tribute to those who gave their lives on September 11 was presented with a slide show and a song entitled, "Why," sung by Charlotte Withers. Erica Weber was the next speaker. The Get-A-Life dancers were next on the program and presented two dance numbers. One of the Veterans called out that the dancers were as good as any USO show he'd seen.
Justin Cox, Allison Peterson, Shadoe Sitterud, Lindsey Diggs and Meriah Maxfield spoke to the audience. Sarah Lutu presented a narration and the program ended with the chorus and audience singing God Bless America. The students also presented the program for the sixth grade from Ferron Elementary.
Many of the Veterans were visibly touched during the program and tears of appreciation wet their faces as they accepted thank yous from these young Americans.
The choir is under the direction Hans Baantjer.