Although Veterans Day was not until Sunday, Williams Upper Elementary School students gathered with the Colusa Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2441 and Maxwell American Legion Post No. 218 before the start of school on Friday to recognize veterans who serve their country in the nation’s military, and to honor the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The annual patriotic ceremony included the raising of the U.S. and California flags.
“Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans,” said Principal Hector Gonzales.
World War I, also known as the Great War, resulted in more than 37 million military casualties and 8.5 million deaths worldwide. It ended when Germany signed an armistice on the 11th day, in the 11th month, and in the 11th hour of 1918, which brought an end to the fighting.
“In 1954, after the United States experienced World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. Congress voted to strike out the word ‘Armistice’ and insert the word ‘Veterans,’” Gonzales told the students.
During the ceremony, music teacher Max Stout led the choir in patriotic song. Candice Bersola-Vallejos, Seal Literacy instructor at Williams Lower Elementary School, sang the national anthem.
Site Secretary Toni Rivera read the meaning of the 13 folds of the American Flag.
“The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic,” she said.
Rivera’s son, Sgt. Kyle Trosky, a U.S. Army veteran, and Williams Unified School District Trustee George Simmons, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, participated in the ceremony.
River’s youngest son, John Rivera, is still serving in the military with the U.S. Air Force. ■