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Draper Journal

Students invite active military, veterans to school programs

Oct 31, 2019 02:29PM ● By Julie Slama

An American Preparatory Academy student in 2015 thanks a veteran at their annual assembly. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Draper Park Middle School Vice Principal Randall Seltz didn’t serve in the military, but he has a great appreciation for those who have.

“It’s been instilled in me since a young age,” he said. “My grandpa served in Korea and my uncle in Vietnam. They didn’t glorify it. They saw things they couldn’t un-see, but they felt the call to service and the need to do it. I’ve been so appreciative of those who do serve.”

Having students understand the sacrifice and commitment of those who serve as well as to honor those who stepped forward and dedicated their lives are two reasons Seltz embraces the school’s annual invitation to the community — to participate in the Veterans Day breakfast.

The breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m., with an hour-long program following, on Friday, Nov. 8 at Draper Park Middle School, 13133 South 1300 East. The full breakfast will be served by the student council, who also set up for the event, said Cindy Henzi, who helps with the student leaders.

“We’ll include the music students singing and playing, including the Armed Forces Medley, where those who served in each branch can be recognized,” she said.

Seltz said the program also will include a short speech from Juan Diego Catholic High graduate Cody Rasmussen, who is active in the National Guard.

“We want to honor our veterans in the community, or even those passing through, and show our appreciation for their service and patriotism,” he said. “Sometimes students may feel disconnected from war or conflict as they only know it from TV, but it is people in their neighborhood who are fighting for the rights and freedoms we have. They’re real people; they’re role models and they’re everyday heroes.”

In addition to Draper Park, nearby American Preparatory Academy (APA) is another school that has a long-standing tradition of honoring veterans for their service.

American Preparatory Academy believes it is a privilege to honor our veterans and to teach our students about the sacrifices required to maintain our nation’s freedoms, said Dan Bazan, APA communication director.

There will be several assemblies welcoming area veterans and honoring them for their service. 

There will be three assemblies this year. At the Draper 1 campus, 12892 South Pony Express Road, there will be a 9 a.m. reception, followed by the 9:45 assembly on Wednesday, Nov. 6. For the Draper 2 campus, the reception will be at 8:15 am., followed by a 9 a.m. assembly on Wednesday, Nov. 13 and for Draper 3 students, an 11:15 a.m. reception for 45 minutes followed by the assembly on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Both Draper 2 and Draper 3 assemblies will be held at the Draper 2 campus, 11938 Lone Peak Parkway.

The assemblies will include a speaker who serves or has served in the military as well as Veterans Day student essay winners. Students also will thank veterans for their service through songs and speeches, and will hand each veteran or those in active duty a commemorative pin and handwritten thank-you letter from an American Prep student. The assembly concludes with a Veterans’ Walk of Honor.