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Shrine Unveiled At Elementary School As Students Mark Memorial Day


A commemorative stone placed at Veterans Memorial STEM Academy. Photo: Carla O’Day

By Carla O’Day

Students at Veterans Memorial STEM Academy in Reno marked Memorial Day a few days early on Friday with the dedication of a commemorative stone on campus, along with a salute to American veterans.

The ceremony consisted of a school-wide flag salute, unveiling of flags representing each branch of the military, and comments from a retired Marine and school alumnus who helped make the memorial possible.

Dave Newman, Veterans Administration assistant human resources officer, told students that freedoms enjoyed by Americans can be traced back to battlefields. Veterans fought “for me, for you, and for the country they so dearly loved,” he said.

Flags from each branch of the military are hung at Veterans Memorial STEM Academy. Photo: Carla O’Day

“Having served in the Marine Corps for more than 20 years and going to more than 50 countries, I’m honored to be here to remember service members who are no longer here,” said Newman, who noted he went to the elementary school 46 years ago.

“That’s before your principal was born,” said Newman, as laughter erupted.

Newman also spoke about the National Moment of Remembrance and encouraged students and those at the ceremony to pause for one minute at 3 p.m. Monday to remember those who’ve given their lives in service to the nation.

“This is another opportunity to reinforce the lessons we teach about how American military personnel have preserved the freedoms we enjoy every day, and how we must never take those freedoms for granted,” Veterans Memorial principal Jenni Anderson said. “It’s a wonderful way for our students to celebrate Memorial Day, and I hope our whole community will also take time to remember the service of the men and women of our armed forces.”

Chapter 1 of Disabled American Veterans donated the stone, which is next to the flagpole outside the school, 1200 Locust St.

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Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.