Richard Patterson, the counselor at Little Lake, had an idea to create a Wall of Honor to pay homage to the students’ and staffs’ personal heroes. The wall is made up of red and white stripes and a sea of blue to depict the American flag. Students and staff submitted photographs and biographies of their heroes that were placed on a white star to be displayed in the blue portion. Veterans were submitted for the Wall of Honor who served in the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Across the Middle East.
This idea of tribute grew into an opportunity for Little Lake Elementary staff members and students to take the time to thank veterans and first responders personally for their services. However, their goal was to not only thank them, but personalize Veterans Day for them and the school committee.
Nearly 80 retired and active veterans, as well as first responders were honored at the first Little Lake Veterans Day event. Staff also invited local firefighters and sheriffs. Hemet High School’s ROTC cadets presented the colors and Board Trustee Patrick Searl led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. After the Pledge, Hemet High’s Band played the National Anthem.
One-by-one students and staff introduced themselves and their heroes. Each of the heroes in attendance were presented with an American Flag. Afterwards, students and staff took their heroes and family members into the multi-purpose room to enjoy food, swap stories with one another, and see Little Lake’s Wall of Honor.
Principal Amanda Niaves said, “The event was a beautiful way to pull our community together and show gratitude, appreciation, humility, and courage as we all stood together.”
Thank you Little Lake staff and students for creating such a wonderful event to recognize and thank our veterans and first responders!