On Friday, November 8, El Dorado High School (EDHS) hosted its seventh annual Veterans Day ceremony at its Fallen Heroes Memorial on campus. Each year, the ceremony is supported by Placentia Boy Scout Troop 723, Esperanza High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, and the school’s Choral Program.
The Fallen Heroes Memorial was constructed in 2013 as an Eagle Scout project by Andrew Binnings, a 2014 EDHS graduate. The Memorial honors the three El Dorado graduates who sacrificed their lives defending the country – U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant William Harrell (92), U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Claudio “Nene” Patiño IV (06), U.S. Army Sergeant Jason Michael Weaver (07).
This year’s ceremony speakers included a keynote address from United States Army Colonel Robert Paoletti, as well as readings from EDHS ASB President, Colby Bladow, EDHS ASB Vice President, Noah Campuzano, and Theater Publicity Chair, Jessa Laboissenniere.
In front of the ceremony’s reflective audience, Col Paoletti spoke of the honor and sacrifice that veterans have made that led to this celebration of freedom. He then conducted a ceremonious Veteran Roll Call. Name after name, Veterans in attendance responded, “Sir, here, sir,” to Col Paoletti, until the names of the fallen Golden Hawks were announced. To commemorate the fallen, EDHS trumpeter, Romario Granados Alvarez, played “Taps,” the distinctive melody performed at U.S. military funerals and memorials.
In addition, 95-year-old World War II Veteran, Mr. Filiberto Lopez Montano, who recently received his diploma from Valencia High School in June 2019, was also recognized as a special part of this year’s ceremony. A story about his experience was shared with those in attendance.
For the third year in a row, all students and staff were able to live stream the Veterans Day ceremony in their classrooms courtesy of El Dorado’s Digital Media Arts Academy. The full ceremony is available to watch below.