Veterans from across generations gathered on Monday at Garfield Middle School as part of the 22nd Annual Veterans Day Recognition Program hosted by Garfield staff, students, PTSA and Help To Others (H2O).
Veterans from wars stretching from World War II and current active duty service members shared breakfast with other non-combat veterans, spouses and community members. Mayor Michael Summers also stopped by to thank the veterans for their service.
Following the breakfast, an all-school assembly honored the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.
Principal Robin Beavers and Mayor Summers spoke to the students about the importance of honoring the veterans and being conscious of their sacrifice and service.
Mayor Summers urged the students to be good citizens and neighbors and as they get closer to voting age, to be informed voters.
The Garfield band paid tribute to the veterans by playing the “Armed Forces on Parade,” a medley of fight songs from all the branches. As each song was played, veterans from the respective branch stood and were honored.
Guest speaker and World War II veteran Dr. Dick Dutro (pictured at right), a former District administrator and Garfield teacher for 40 years, shared his experiences of going to war at 18 years old, following in the footsteps of his three older brothers. He described what it was like to sleep in a "6x6x6 hole" and his stunning impressions from his troops' engagement at the Dachau concentration camp.
The assembly also recognized the winner of the annual Joseph A. Mazzarella Outstanding Citizenship Award, which was given to 8th grader Sha Eh Bliu Wah. Teacher Dan Smith also shared the More than a Name project, which lists the addresses and names of all the 338 Lakewood service members lost to war since World War II.