Veterans Day celebrations bridge generations in Talkeetna

Talkeetna Elementary students thank veterans for their service at a special assembly.  Photo: AJ Sullivan

Talkeetna Elementary students thank veterans for their service at a special assembly. Photo: AJ Sullivan

This week, gatherings were held at Talkeetna Elementary School and Veterans of Foreign Wars post 3836 in Talkeetna to honor members of the armed services, both past and present, in observation of Veterans Day. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

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On Tuesday, Talkeetna Elementary School held a special assembly to recognize service members in advance of Veterans Day. Children of each grade level, staff, parents, and veterans gathered in the gymnasium to thank those who have put on the various uniforms of the United States. As part of the assembly, music teacher Kayti Heller delivered a moving rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

Multiple speakers on Tuesday touched on the idea of integrity, beginning with

Talkeetna Elementary Principal Lisa Shelby embraces Elinore Ebling, wife of the late Myron F. "Ace" Ebling, for whom VFW Post 3836 is named.  Photo: AJ Sullivan

Talkeetna Elementary Principal Lisa Shelby embraces Elinore Ebling, wife of the late Myron F. “Ace” Ebling, for whom VFW Post 3836 is named. Photo: AJ Sullivan

Talkeetna Elementary Principal Lisa Shelby.

“I look at why we’re here today and all of our veterans. You each represent integrity. You stood up for what you believe was right for our country. You are courageous leaders who served to help us all so we can enjoy the life we have here in our country. We appreciate your integrity through difficult times, messy politics, and sometimes painful history.”

Veterans present at the assembly were then recognized. The students filed through the seats, shaking the hand of each veteran and thanking them for their service.

On Wednesday, VFW Post 3836 also held a gathering to recognize veterans. Like Principal Shelby the day before, Post Senior Vice Commander Mel Sheppard spoke to the traits of those who serve.

VFW Post 3836 Senior Vice Commander Mel Sheppard speaks about the sacrifices made by those who serve.  Photo: Phillip Manning

VFW Post 3836 Senior Vice Commander Mel Sheppard speaks about the sacrifices made by those who serve. Photo: Phillip Manning

“For generations, the men and women of America’s armed forces have demonstrated a willingness to put country above self, patriots who serve for the greater good, who don’t seek glory or recognition or personal gain. Today we honor them. Today is their day. Our nation honors the contributions and sacrifices of the nearly 22 million veterans living today and all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of liberty and justice.”

Sheppard also spoke to the duty of the nation to its veterans after they return home from service.

“Each citizen must ensure that America fulfills its promise to provide our veterans the benefits and entitlements they have earned and deserve. We must be willing to pick them up when they are down, help point the way to a new life when they return home, and carry them when they are weary. We are dedicated to do no less, and we are honor-bound to do so.”

After the ceremony at VFW Post 3836, those gathered settled in for a potluck lunch, an opportunity to catch up with friends and comrades, and a renewing of Veterans Day fellowship.

Cards made by Talkeetna Elementary students line the potluck table at VFW Post 3836.  Photo: Phillip Manning

Cards made by Talkeetna Elementary students line the potluck table at VFW Post 3836. Photo: Phillip Manning

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