Downey Elementary pays tribute to veterans

By Debbie Bryce For the Journal

POCATELLO — About 100 Downy Elementary School students paid tribute to veterans at the Idaho State Veterans Home Tuesday.

Along with a collection of patriotic songs, the K-6-graders spent the last two month working on a special video for the vets that will be viewed during Veteran’s Day celebrations Wednesday.

“We are grateful to all of you and for the contribution you made so these children can come and sing to you today and can go to school to learn,” Principal Nancy Dalley told the veterans.

Dalley said the students were excited to get to perform for the veterans and last year the Veteran’s Day performance by Downey Elementary School was viewed in Washington, D.C.

Joseph Tomi is a second-grader at the school and he knows exactly what a veteran is.

“It’s someone who fought for freedom,” Joseph said.

He said his grandfather and his mother are both veterans.

Khloe Sorensen, 7 and also a second grader at Downey, said she liked to see the smiles on the veteran’s faces.

Mel Hansen is the Downey Elementary resident Marine and he teaches fourth and fifth grade at the school.

“I am highly honored to be able to come and do this,” Hansen said. “I think today, a lot of schools just step over Veterans Day, we want our kids to know what the holiday is about.”

Mary Christine Head served with the U.S. Air Force for 17 years before a fall off the end of an aircraft in 1986 broke her back and ended her career.

“I was loading a parachute and it was raining, I was trying to hurry before it froze,” Head said.

She’s been a resident at the Pocatello Veterans Home for the past six months and said she was touched by the tribute Tuesday.

“This was just wonderful, the kids, the songs, I just loved it,” Head said.

Head said she followed her father into the Air Force and her son followed.

“He’s in the Air Force, he’s a cop though,” Head said.

Carrie Leavitt, activities coordinator at the Pocatello Veterans Home, said the residents look forward to the annual tributes.

“They love children and they love patriotic music,” Leavitt said. “It enriches their lives.”

Leavitt said a veterans’ tribute is also scheduled Wednesday beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The annual event includes guest speakers, music, videos and the Spirit of Freedom Awards, bestowed by U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo R-Idaho will also be presented.

Leave a Reply