November 11, 2020
A Veterans Day Thank You from the Staff at UPE:
We wish we could all be together today to celebrate our veterans this year. Even though we cannot, this day will not pass without UPE acknowledging our deepest gratitude for these members of our community. From all of us at Ute Pass Elementary School: Thank you for your service.
My father served in the US Army a long, long time ago. Today, when he stands for the National Anthem, often his eyes will get a little misty. Since I was a child, I’ve also believed that during the anthem, his mind goes somewhere else - to a different time and place. Somewhere where he had to sacrifice a lot, endure a lot. Perhaps he’s in the forests of Yogoslavia trying to stay warm in the middle of the night on the hood of his tank (he wasn’t supposed to sleep there but he and his men would when the temperature went below freezing). Or maybe he’s commanding his men inside his tank as they try to delicately maneuver a 45 ton tank, it’s turret turned backwards, through tiny, thousand-year-old stone debris covered streets in Germany.
Wherever he is, he is, like all veterans, moved by the Anthem that honors this shining city on the hill, this place we call the United State of America. It’s a place that he, and so many others in our country, have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices so that you and I can exercise our freedoms.
The places our veterans go to in their minds and hearts, during the playing of our Anthem, may not be visible to us. But our veterans themselves are visible - they are with us in our families, in our community, right now, the makers of this moment.
Connect with them. Hear their stories if they wish to tell them. And most importantly, always, always make sure they know how thankful we are.
Mr. Briggs-Hale & the Staff of Ute Pass Elementary School