Barbara Lawlor, Gilpin County. Gilpin County students paid homage to all veterans and especially to their local veterans who attended the Veterans’ Day Celebration last Thursday morning. The program is an annual event which features various songs and performances by the students who are eager to show their appreciation to the heroes that served our country.
The program began with introductory music by the Gilpin Middle School Band, who have been practicing for months.
Veterans sat in together with the current military personnel as the color guard consisting of Command Sgt. Major Mary Aguilar, First Lieutenant Andrea Orozco, First Sergeant Ivanna Gamez and Master Sergeant Adrian Barajas, all with the Abraham Lincoln High School ROTC, presented the flags.
Nothing could touch the heart more than Gilpin Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, serious and sweet at the same time.
Lauryn Pankhurst sang the National Anthem and senior Carly Johnson took on the role of the master of ceremonies, introducing the speakers and the performances with confidence and admiration for the veterans she addressed. She was also addressing her grandfather, a veteran, who was in the audience.
Fifth Graders and Upper Montessori elementary school students sang the traditional Fifty Nifty United States which always ends in laughter as the names of states picks up speed.
Carly gave the microphone to the veterans who wanted to give their names and ranks and years of military service. It was their turn to speak of their pride in serving their country. When the last veteran grew quiet, there was a moment of silence and then Taps was played by Sasha Sonsino.
The Fourth Grade Class sang a rousing edition of Colorado and then veterans and their families gathered in the atrium for cake and coffee.
As the students gathered round the veterans to speak to them personally, to shake their hands and thank them, the veterans couldn’t hide an occasional tear or the big smiles that spread across their faces.
The Gilpin students made their day.
(Originally published in the November 16, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)