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Lakewood High School honors veterans with special assembly
LAKEWOOD — Lakewood High School paid tribute to 18 veterans in a special assembly on Nov. 9 in anticipation of the Nov. 11 Veterans Day holiday.
The students who walked in beneath Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" may have felt that it was just another Wednesday, but this one was for all those who had fought for freedom since 1776.
"Veterans are our nation's sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers from all backgrounds, races, walks of life and religions," said Susan Whitman, Command Master Chief aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, whose tours have taken her twice around the world.
The Marysville-Pilchuck color guard marched to the middle of the floor to present the colors, Lakewood's choir assembled to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and all veterans in attendance stood to receive a standing ovation. Students who have or have had loved ones in the service stood to be recognized as well.
When the applause faded, the room went dark save for a single candle, lit to honor America's fallen heroes in a moment of silence. A single violin played a somber rendition of "Amazing Grace." When the lights came back on, the choir sang "Unsung Hero" accompanied by a piano.
Command Master Chief Whitman, a Navy veteran of 26 years and the Senior Enlisted aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln home ported in Everett, took the podium at the center of the floor to speak of the pride she feels each and every Veterans Day.
Whitman acknowledged the 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps on Nov. 10 and spoke of what America's service men and women mean to the preservation of freedom, and expressed her pride in being married to a former Marine and being a mother to a son who recently returned from Afghanistan as a Hospital Corpsman.
"The service is a great place for sons and daughters to join — these are life experiences that can't be taught in a book," Whitman said.