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PECS students, staff honor veterans

BRIGHTON — Although Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School students, teachers and administrators are learning and teaching remotely, the school celebrated Veterans Day together with a video presentation Nov. 11.

Narrated by Principal Tracy Downing and produced by media specialist Amber Summeralls, the video included photos of veterans in the families of students and staff members.

Downing read the following text:

“Today is Veterans’ Day. Our morning announcements are dedicated to honoring and paying tribute to our veterans of the armed forces.

More than 70 years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of America’s presidents, said that he looked forward to a world founded on four essential human freedoms: The freedom of speech, the freedom to worship god in our own way, the freedom from want and need, and finally to be free from fear. These freedoms should be universal, but there are places in the world where they are just dreams.

We are fortunate to live in America, the land of the free. Our soldiers of yesterday and today have and continue to secure these freedoms President Roosevelt talked about so long ago. Each year on Veterans’ Day, we pay homage to our members of the armed forces. We thank them for their service to our country.

They sacrificed and are sacrificing today so that we may enjoy the blessing of liberty. We pay tribute to them by remembering them and their accomplishments. We honor our veterans by cherishing the freedoms they paid such a price to defend.

They keep the torch of liberty burning in the oldest democracy of Earth. Each and every one of them are heroes and gave to every child thereafter a precious and irreplaceable gift. Our nation shall remain eternally grateful.
Many of us have family members and friends who are serving today or who have served in the past. Today we come together to show respect for our veterans and to thank them. Let’s honor them during this tribute video.”

Prior to Veterans Day, students were asked to send photos of family members who served in the military and to write a note about why they are thankful to veterans. Here are some of those notes.

“Thank you Uncle Timmy for serving in the army even though I never really have spoken to you, I’m still thankful for you and how you protected our family. Happy veteran’s day. Love, Bobbi.”

“I am thankful for my Mom’s dad John, I think he fought in the Vietnam war and I am also thankful for every veteran. I am thankful for everyone that sacrificed their life to make my life good,” wrote Jesse.

Logan wrote, “I’m thankful for my grandpa. He was a veteran in World War II. His name is John French and he is 76 years old. He was in the Air Force and he got to fly the planes. I also am thankful for them because they fought for our country and sacrificed their lives. He is loved.”

“I would like to thank all of our veterans for their sacrifices for our great country. Thank you for my freedom, thank you for serving and thank you for your bravery,” wrote Braylen

Melanie wrote, “I am thankful for our veterans because without them our lives wouldn’t be the same as right now. If we didn’t have any veterans, we would probably still have to defend our freedom. I appreciate our veterans because they sacrificed themselves for us to have freedom. I am grateful that we have veterans that protect us from getting harmed. I hope my grandpa is reading this from Heaven and if he is I hope he sees that I really appreciate him for doing all of his work.”

“The Civil War is an important part of our history. Many great people served as soldiers back then,” wrote Layda. “I am thankful for my great-grandpa, who was in the Army at some point. He is on my dad’s side of the family. My grandpa talks about him sometimes. He doesn’t remember what he served as. I hope all the veterans are doing well. I know many people got hurt during the war. Thank you for protecting our country,” wrote Layda.

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at