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Davis Journal

Children pay tribute to veterans at special celebration

Nov 18, 2021 08:57AM ● By Becky Ginos

Veteran Ken Davis, 73rd Airborne in Vietnam, high-five’s students as he’s escorted into the school. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

BOUNTIFUL—Students at Boulton Elementary honored more than 40 veterans with a special program and lunch during their annual Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 11. Veterans were invited to the event by the children and teachers and sat together to enjoy lunch as each grade came up and sang a patriotic song. 

“We usually have about 80,” said Principal Tiffany Tuck. “But with COVID we had to cut the number to 44. The kids have been practicing with the choir teacher for over a month.”

Raymond Jensen was there with his granddaughter and great grandchildren. “I served in the Korean War with the 197th Airborne Regiment Combat Team,” said the 92-year-old. “I love this country. I love parents who teach their children to be good citizens. I don’t like the divisiveness. People use too many words that divide us. We need to learn to appreciate each other more.”

“I like honoring all of these people,” said Jensen’s 12-year-old great granddaughter Elizabeth Koecher. “I like learning about their lives. I think my great grandpa is very brave to do what he did. We need to celebrate more openly and throw it out there.”

“We get to celebrate the veterans who served our country,” said fourth-grader William Koecher. “They gave us the freedoms we have so we can do whatever we want.”

Marvin Gowdell presented all the veterans with an ornamental bell that he designed. “My brother got drafted and he did not come back,” he said. “I thought ‘I’ve got to do something to honor those who served.’ I saw a picture of a bell that represents our freedom like the Liberty Bell.”

Each bell has an American flag painted on it and a poem to go with it. “This is from me to you,” he said. “I’m proud to be an American and I’m proud to see you go and pray that we’ll never have to go again. God bless you and thank you very much.”

An Honor Tribute Team made up of servicemen from different branches of the military also gave a presentation to the veterans. 

“This is our fourth year,” said TSgt Garry Bell, US Air Force (Retired). “We’re all volunteers. We’ve done 440 salutes statewide.”

“I’ve done two combat deployments,” said Staff Sgt. Shultz. “I’d like to thank you for your service. You may take off the uniform but what you do will never be forgotten.”

Tuck was in tears as the Honor Tribute Team presented her with a flag and medal in honor of her father Third Class Petty Officer Robert Rasband who died last September. “I’m speechless. This was a surprise. It’s incredible to see these veterans come in with such pride and love for their country.”