Several veterans were in attendance at the Veterans' Day Assembly held at California Middle School Nov. 11. Student To Student member Trevor Hall started the event by welcoming all in attendance. Ed Ziegs' class then led those assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance before explaining the meaning behind the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
Marcia Burgher led the Pinto Express in the National Anthem. Krista Davis introduced Kiwanis member Dr. Pete Kurowski, pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, who presented the Kiwanis Essay winners. The essays dealt with the issue of compromise. How compromise helped shape the country and the difference between a good compromise and a bad compromise.
"What an honor to be with you on this day," Kurowski said. "On this Veterans' Day we celebrate the rare gift of freedom. Only a small minority of people throughout history have had this gift. Most people in most ages have lived under cruel tyrants. I appreciate everyone who worked behind the scenes this day so we can celebrate good soldiers, government and citizens."
Seventh grade students who were honorably mentioned were Morgan Benne, Emma Bailey, Trevor Hall and Damion Kitchens. Honorable mentions for the eighth grade were Austin Porter, Mara Caudel and Logan Sperry.
Gunner Baquet was the first place winner for the seventh grade with Audrey Pickering, second and Sam Kirby, third. Katheryn J. Robbins earned first place in the eighth grade with Waylon Harrison, second and Sidney Draffen, third. Baquet, Robbins and Harrison all recited parts of their winning essays.
After the essays Burgher then led "Musical Connections" in singing "We Will Not Forget" a song tribute to those who serve. Retired Air Force Tech Sergeant Brian Boguski was the guest speaker for the assembly. A main point Boguski brought up was the sacrifice not only service members make, but the sacrifice their families make too. Past and present service members were then honored when the Middle School Band played "Service Medley." To close out the assembly service members and family members of service members were then asked to stand in recognition for their service.
Photos of the Kiwanis Essay Winners along with the seventh and eighth grade first place essays will be in the Nov. 23 issue of the California Democrat.