Gardnerville Elementary honors local veterans |

Gardnerville Elementary honors local veterans

by Rachel Spacek
Gardnerville Elementary School students give hand shakes and high fives to local veterans on Nov. 11.
Rachel Spacek |

Dozens of local veterans were given hugs and high-fives from Gardnerville Elementary School students after the school’s annual Veterans Day assembly on Thursday.

During the assembly, students learned the history of Veterans Day, teachers read a book describing the way families are impacted when a member goes to war and sang “God Bless the USA.”

Carl Schnock, a U.S. Army veteran and president of Western Nevada Welcome All Veterans Everywhere, said this is his second year attending the assembly.

“It is hard for young people to grasp the concept of war and veterans,” Schnock said. “This helps them become more aware of what we do.”

Darrol Brown, Air Force veteran, agreed with Schnock and said that it is very difficult for younger generations to understand what it means to serve.

“It is not like 50 years ago when they talked about war in the newspapers and on television,” Brown said. “It is hard for a lot of younger people to understand it.”

Schnock said it is often hard for veterans themselves to talk about war and serving since many have bad memories from war. He said he appreciates teachers talking about Veterans Day and war with their students.

“I hope learning about this teaches kids the values we learned while serving and hopefully they grow up to learn and appreciate those values,” Schnock said.

Mary Lahlum, health aide at Gardnerville Elementary School and one of the assembly organizers, said the assembly has been held at least since 2001.

She said Veteran’s Day is a big deal in Nevada and it is important every year to make veterans feel special and recognized.

“We hear every year from the veterans how special they feel when the kids do this for them,” Lahlum said.

Veterans marched into the multipurpose room according to their branch and were guided by second graders holding banners according to that branch. Veterans sat on stage while the students sat facing them.

After the “Pledge of Allegiance” was said, three Blue Star mothers were recognized; they are mothers with sons or daughters in active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

After the assembly, the veterans walked out of the multipurpose room, down a hallway lined with student work depicting veterans and thanking them for their service. The veterans were then given high fives and hugs from the students as they walked back to their classrooms.