Nebo’s staff and students celebrated our local Veterans in an unusual way this year because of the pandemic. Principal Shanna Walker, at Park View Elementary, came up with this idea back in August when she realized there would be no assemblies.
“The idea was born because it is important that students gain an appreciation for those who have made it possible for our communities to enjoy our country’s rights and liberties,” said Mrs. Walker. “Once word got out, the other schools wanted to be involved. It was a group effort between the schools, Payson City, police officers, and fire department.”
Shanna said, “I contacted the police and fire departments to see if this was possible, they were so supportive and excited that we would provide this celebration for the Veterans in our community.
“Oh boy, did the Veterans show up! The Veterans, from Springville to Goshen, rode in 55 vehicles starting at Park View Elementary. Many vehicles were filled with multiple Veterans dressed in full uniform with signs on their cars and flags displayed on many of the vehicles. It was all I could do to hold back the tears,” expressed an emotional Principal Walker. “Some of the schools made gift bags for our Veterans and went from car to car giving out the gifts thanking them for their service and for supporting our parade. Each Veteran expressed their gratitude for the event.”
Many community members came out on their driveway or porch and lined the roads waving their own flags and cheering. The teachers and students expressed what an emotional and moving experience. The fire chief wants to make this an annual event. A lady called to say that her grandson-in-law was here from Florida. He was on two tours to the Middle East, and he has never seen anything like this.
This Veteran’s Parade was an opportunity for children to make a difference in the lives of the Veterans; and in return, the children got to see what it felt like to make others truly happy. What a blessing to experience true appreciation for others. How great it was for the Veterans to see that their service was appreciated, and it would continue to be appreciated in the coming generations.
“I had no idea the impact this would have on so many. We hoped a few Veterans would show up, but they came by the dozens. In a time when everything feels so uncertain and a bit scary, this event helped center us and had a healing effect on so many - especially with the political storm that seems to surround us right now. It reminds us why we love this great country - it is because of the people and the communities that care for one another.” stated Principal Walker, “I believe that this was an inspired event, and I am grateful that I was able to help facilitate it and for the other administrators that jumped aboard, and for their help. It reminded us that no matter what, we’re all Americans; and we are in this together. Today proved that we have amazing people who have proudly served our country to protect our freedoms, and the students who cheered them on will be their legacy. I am truly proud to be an American.”
Just some of the responses from our Veteran’s Day Parade in Payson, Utah.
Mez and Renee Stewart, Army National Guard, Vietnam Veteran, sent this letter to Nebo schools.
“We want to thank you all – faculty, teachers, and students for the opportunity you gave us of being a part of the Veteran’s Car Parade at your schools! It was a great experience – not only to be there as a Veteran; but to see all of you there, lined up and down the sidewalks waving flags, smiling, saying thanks, being taught, teaching us, and reminding us what it means to live in such a wonderful place, a great community of caring people in the greatest country on earth. We can’t get your beautiful faces out of our minds. What a special thing you all did! Our grateful thoughts are with you as you go forward every day in trying circumstances together. You are all heroic in so many ways. We had the up-close, very personal chance to see that in your faces; and we will not forget that ever! Thank you for a very special experience! With gratitude!”
Gary Rohrbaugh said on social media: “Today, Veteran’s Day, is a very special day!!! The parade in Payson was incredible!!! Seeing all the children waving The American Flag gave me great pride. Watching them honor the men and women who served them, most before they were even born, made me choke up many times this morning. Their enthusiasm was inspiring!!! If that wasn't enough, to drive through the neighborhoods that were not even close to the schools and to see the many parents and small children, not old enough to go to school, getting an education in honoring those who served!!! The many people on driveways, porches, balconies, and in the back of vehicles all proudly waving and showing support!!! This is a great community to live in!!! Teachers, administrators, and parents who put this together, We Salute YOU!!!! God Bless YOU and God Bless America!!!”
Tysan Janell Adam’s Facebook post: "In addition to how thankful we are for our Veterans, we are just as thankful for Payson city, all of our schools, and residents for making this awesome Veteran's Day Parade possible. We live in a great town. My grandpa is 92 and served in the Korean war. He was elated when we invited him to this. So, of course, he wanted to cruise his classic car for the parade. The whole ride he kept saying how amazing this event was and how many people were out cheering, waving, and saying thanks... Even people at their homes!"
Congratulations to Marianne Lowe for answering this week’s “Where are we Wednesday?” challenge sponsored by Wiggy Wash.
Enjoy the video, from the fire truck, of all the schools.
#BeTheMagic #NeboHero #NeboSchoolDistrict #StudentSuccess #EmpowerStudents #EngageStudents #FocusOnStudents #LoveUTpublicSchools #UtPol #UtEd #ThankATeacher #LoveTeaching #covid19 #staywellnebo
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