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Draper Journal

Draper Students Honor Veterans

Nov 14, 2014 03:39PM ● By Julie Slama
Students at several Draper schools thanked veterans Nov. 11 for their dedication to their country through programs this Veterans Day.

At American Preparatory Academy, the annual program has attracted about 75 veterans at its Draper campus 1 in recent years, and with the addition of Draper campus 2’s program, more veterans were expected to be honored.

“We see it as our chance to thank the veterans who rendered service in our behalf and in behalf of our country (and) as a time to teach our children of the sacrifice of all the veterans in our country and of the respect they have earned,” APA Executive Director Carolyn Sharette said.

The program, which is rehearsed for about one month before Veterans Day, is usually dotted with veterans’ stories, songs about American pride and thankful words from students performed before a packed gymnasium. Students write essays about veterans and the essay winners share their stories, often about relatives who serve or served.

Former Navy river patrolman Karl Francis had tears in his eyes at a recent APA Veterans Day program when students sang patriotic songs and then thanked him and other veterans.

“I have never been thanked before,” Francis said. “This is better than all the medals and ribbons I ever got.”

At Draper Park Middle School, veterans and active duty military and their families were invited to a Veterans Day pancake breakfast. Following the breakfast, music students performed patriotic numbers and student council members read letters that the student body wrote to veterans, thanking them for their dedication and time in service to our country.

Channing Hall invited veterans to a middle school assembly to listen to former Navy serviceman Steve Carlson speak, honor the flag presented by the Utah National Guard color guard and listen to music performed by the school choir. Afterward, veterans were invited to elementary classrooms so students could ask questions and show them an eight-foot American flag they were making for the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Letters the students wrote were given to the Utah National Guard to be sent to soldiers based in Afghanistan.