Students and veterans spoke, a poem was read, and musical tributes were heard during a Veterans Day ceremony in the high school gymnasium Nov. 10, 2016.

Participants expressed appreciation for the moving Veterans Day celebration held Thursday in the McCloud High School gymnasium.

Kathleen Gardner, a mother of three high school and elementary school children, said her personal “flood gates opened” when McCloud 8th grader Jaden Quiring, the event’s final speaker, talked about his great grandfather in World War II and thanked the veterans for their service.

“The community feeling in the gymnasium was wonderful, coming together for this,” Gardner said. “I was very moved by the whole thing.”

Veterans spoke, a poem was read by high school freshman Morgan Miller, and other high school and elementary school students gave talks.

McCloud High School Dean of Students Becky Mock said, “We need to take time to honor our veterans and elders in our community. It is their service to our country which gave us our way of life and it needs to be acknowledged. People tend to take our rights and privileges for granted.”

The event was attended by McCloud students and many veterans from the area, including Don Wilson of McCloud, age 91, who served in World War II CS division as a signal man on a battleship.

“This gives the kids an idea of what we went through and what they have [freedom] because of us,” said Wayne Edelman, who served in the Navy from 1948 to 1952.

“It is good to get out and teach the kids what the veterans have done for our country. And what they (the children) can do in the future,” said Dennis Dalton, who served in the Marine Corps during Vietnam.

“I appreciate the support from the community and the children of McCloud,” said Dave Wolfe, who served in the Army from 1987 to 2011. “It is important that they know the sacrifices of the generations of the past that protected their rights given to them in the US Constitution.”

The honor guard for the event included Robert Ballesteros from the Siskiyou County Marine Corps League, Bob Tessmer from the McCloud American Legion Cheula Post 92, and Ronald Kindred and Michael Murphy from Yreka American Legion Post 122.

The McCloud High School Rock Band played a patriotic song, and Mock played a tribute to veterans on Native American flute.