Tamaqua students honor veterans
Quakake American Legion member and teacher Dale Kline raises the American Flag during the Tamaqua Area School District's Annual Veterans Day Observance.
Veterans were observed, honored, and remembered during the Tamaqua Senior High and Middle School's annual Veterans Day Observance Ceremony held in front of the Tamaqua Area Senior High School on Veterans Day.
The Color Guard and firing detail consists yearly of veterans and members from the Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League and both Quakake and Tamaqua American Legions.
The ceremony started off with a greeting from middle school student Vanessa Solt who thanked everyone for taking time to honor the members and veterans, both living and deceased, of various branches of the United States military.
"Today we join in this dedication to honor members of our military who serve and have served their nation, both in peace and in war," Student Government President Hailey Arnold said in her opening remarks.
"Let us hold this group of Americans in the highest regard. Let us express our appreciation and esteem for those men and women who have answered the call to serve their country. Let us express our thanks to them. Because of them, we live in the strongest, freest, greatest nation in the history of the world. We are the benefactors of their sacrifice, their courage, their commitment and their sense of duty. Let us be forever grateful."
A roll call of those members of the school district who have served their country was then read. Those names consisted of Army veterans Robert Betz, Michael Grabowski, Ronald Miller, Arthur Oakes Sr., Bob Vrenner, Arthur Williams, Navy veterans Bob Dasey, Ray Kunkle, Air Force veteran Joe Deren, and Coast Guard veteran Dale Kline.
The raising of the flag was performed by Kline, of the Quakake American Legion, and United States Army Colonel Robert "Bo" Balcavage of West Penn Township, a 1983 Tamaqua graduate.
The flag raising was followed by a firing detail from members of the Tamaqua American Legion and Sons of the Tamaqua American Legion.
Superseding the firing detail was the playing of taps and a moment of silence to all the veterans who paid the ultimate price for our liberty and freedom. Students, staff, and guests were then treated to the singing of God Bless America by the Tamaqua Area High School Jazz Chorale.
Closing remarks were provided by Student Government Treasurer Kelsey Burkett.
"We should be humbled by this special observance as our actions today stand as a memorial to those who have risked their lives to preserve the freedom and liberties which we so often take for granted," said Burkett. "They say that the love of liberty exceeds the love of death.
"To those who serve and have served we say, 'Thank You.'"