Molalla Elementary School students saluted local veterans in Veterans Celebration at the school

by: PEGGY SAVAGE - The young students sang patriotic songs to honor the veterans at the Molalla Elementary School celebrationYoung voices rang out in a tribute to Molalla area veterans Thursday at Molalla Elementary School, part of a program to honor the men and women who have served in the military.

The students adorned the school in stars and stripes and practiced singing patriotic songs for weeks before holding the school’s first annual Veteran’s Day Celebration. Among the honored was a 91-year-old World War ll veteran and a veteran who has received the Purple Heart.

During the ceremony, the children sang en masse to the honored veterans, many of them dressed in full uniform.

Mattison Miller gave a solo performance, singing “God Bless The USA,” a patriotic song by Lee Greenwood. Jocelyn Riehle read a poem dedicated to her step-father, Sgt. Bobby Jory, who is on active duty and was present to hear her tribute.

The veterans stood together before the assembly where they were asked to tell a little about themselves, where and when they served and in which branch of the military.

Molalla VFW Post Commander Rod Wymore told the students “You are our future. I really appreciate you kids. I’m honored.”

by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Some of the veterans gathered for a photo following the eventBefore the kids rushed off to catch their school buses, many visited with the veterans, many of whom were parents or grandparents of a student there. A reception was held in the school lobby, where the veterans were offered cake and refreshment and a chance to visit with each other, sharing stories.

A salute to my heroes

A poem written by and read to the veterans by Molalla Elementary School student Jocelyn Riehle at the school's celebration for veterans.

I say thank you to the men and women who have fought for our country.

These patriots are brave and loyal. We owe our freedom to patriots like these.

I am especially proud of my step-dad, Sergeant First Class Jory.

He has been deployed four times serving our country.

I think he is strong and brave. He is a hero to me!

by Jocelyn Riehle

Honored Veterans at the ceremony were:

Ross Flintjer, U.S. Navy

Tyrell Miller, U.S. Army

Mike Rizzotti, U.S. Air Force

Darrin Tuers, U.S. Navy

Brandon Nealeigh, U.S. Army

Jon Pritchard, U.S. Army

John Milliken Sr., USMC

John Parish, U.S. Navy Seabees

Rancy Baker, U.S. Army

Ron Higginbotham , U.S. Army

Brandon Nealeigh, U.S. Army

Jon Pritchard, U.S. Army

Melanie Taylor, U.S. Army

Craig Fogoros, U.S. Army

Dennis Colvin, U.S. Navy

Rod Wymore, U.S. Army

Dick Martin

Jason Griswold, U.S. Navy

Sgt. Bobby Jory

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