Timpview High School honors veterans during annual assembly

Vietnam veteran and marine Robert Wakefield stands during Timpview High School’s Veterans Day Assembly on Monday, Nov. 11. (Cassidy Baker)

Students, teachers, veterans and community leaders gathered in the Timpview High School Thunderdome on Monday, Nov. 11, to honor individuals who have served in the United States military.

The high school has conducted the Veterans Day celebration for years and aims to educate students as well as pay homage to former military personnel.

Timpview High School graduate Utah Sen. Mike Lee speaks at the Timpview High School Veterans Day assembly. (Cassidy Baker)

Fidel Montero, the school’s principal, said he, as well as other educators at the school, wanted to teach students about the important role veterans play in American society.

“It’s a small price to pay to teach our students,” Montero said. “Without (veterans’) sacrifice and commitment to protect the freedoms that we enjoy, we don’t have these wonderful schools and universities where we can gain an education.”

The program included an armed forces medley in which each veteran stood when they heard their branch’s theme.

Vietnam veteran and marine Robert Wakefield attended the event proudly wearing his uniform.

He started out in the military in college on a Navy ROTC scholarship. Then he switched to the United States Marine Corps and served 10 years of active duty, including as a battalion commander and divisions chief of staff.

“I’m a very proud Marine,” Wakefield said. “I love our country and I love serving our country. I hope we can keep it strong.”

Utah Sen. Mike Lee was a guest speaker during the assembly. In his message, he thanked the present veterans and urged students to continue the tradition of celebrating Veterans Day.

“Our existence as a country and the peacefulness as a people goes to those who are willing to lay down their lives for us,” Lee said. “We have to celebrate that, otherwise we won’t be free.”

While addressing the audience, Lee noted the universal popularity of veterans.

“I work in a place and with people that aren’t very popular,” Lee said. “But there’s always one group of people that is always popular and beloved, and that’s veterans.”

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