Colleen Bennett - Sotheby's International Realty

9/11 PATRIOT ASSEMBLY: Oak Mesa Students Soar in More Ways Than One

September 10, 2010
Share this story:

Students look on in awe and amazement as the doves take flight.
Students look on in awe and amazement as the doves take flight.
Oak Mesa students release the white doves for their journey home.

Oak Mesa students release the white doves for their journey home.

Instead of having a supersonic military flyover to commemorate 9/11, Oak Mesa Elementary School in La Verne decided to have a fly-up-and-over, releasing a flock of white doves from the school’s south playground “in memory of those many individuals trying to save the lives of their fellow Americans.”

As students Kristin Plat, Mitchell Barron, Nicholas Willison, Olivia Brock, Brock Johnson and Jacob Aguirre released the doves, students, parents, faculty and staff looked skyward in awe and amazement as the cream-colored birds soared and spiraled upward before assembling into perfect flight formation for their journey home.

Taste of Asia La Verne
Principal Karen Eberhart shares a special surprise with the students: "You're going to the .... L.A. County Fair on Sept. 22."

Principal Karen Eberhart shares a special surprise with the students: "You're going to the .... L.A. County Fair on Sept. 22."

“There were many heroes that day that lost their lives because they cared about others and tried to rescue them,” said Ms. Cheryl, leading the all-school Patriot Assembly on the north La Verne campus. “We honor each of them today as we release the doves in the sky and watch them search for their way home – representing freedom as they return to their home in Hacienda Heights. The birds are going home just as these Americans have to their eternal home.

“God bless their memory and God bless America.”

A single dove also was released by student Tara Moran in honor of all La Verne men and women currently in the U.S. armed forces serving their country. The students learned that doves use the sunlight and the earth to navigate their way home – even when home is 1,000 miles away.

Before releasing the white doves, seven students had the honor to each hold one letter that together spelled “A-M-E-R-I-C-A” as Ms. Harriet read what each letter symbolized:

A – allegiance

M—memories

E – education

R – responsibility

I – independence

C—courage

A – always remember

Oak Mesa students know how to spell very well, indeed. These students help Oak Mesa reach a record API score of 958.

Oak Mesa students know how to spell very well, indeed. These students helped Oak Mesa reach a record API score of 958.

030Following the spelling of AMERICA, all classes joined in a stirring and heartwarming rendition of “Thank You, Soldiers” (see lyrics below), a song that was penned by a Virginia third-grade elementary school teacher. Student Justin Woo accompanied the students on piano.

The assembly featured one other wonderful surprise. Principal Karen Eberhart announced the school’s 2010 Academic Performance Index score of 958, which is one point higher than last-year’s record-setting total.

“We are going to close the school one day, Sept 22, to go to the Los Angeles Co. Fair,” she said.

That sent the kids’ spirits soaring. Only the doves flew higher.

Thank You, Soldiers

When I lay my head down ev-ry night and go to sleep in peace,

I can stay there know-ing all is well, while you’re stand-ing on your feet.

Keep-ing watch, pro-tecting ev-ry shore, in the air and o-ceans too,

De-fend-ing free-dom at all cost, for the red, white and the blue.

     Thank you, oh thank you, men and wo-men brave and strong,

     To those who serve so gal-lant-ly we sing this grate-ful song.

To the sol-diers who have tra-veled on to coun-tries far and near,

In peace and war you paid the price for the cause you hold so dear.

That we may wake each morn-ing bright, and know that free-dom rings;

Because of your great sa-cri-fice, your coun-try joins to sing.

     Thank you, oh thank you, men and wo-men brave and strong,

     To those who serve so gal-lant-ly we sing this grate-ful song.

     Thank you, oh thank you, men and wo-men brave and strong,

     To those who serve so gal-lant-ly we sing this grate-ful song.

 

Oak Mesa's Justin Woo played piano as his fellow students sang, "Thank You, Soldiers."

Oak Mesa's Justin Woo played piano as his fellow students sang, "Thank You, Soldiers."

 

Tara Moral displays the art of holding and caressing one special dove very carefully.

Tara Moran displays the art of holding and caressing one special dove very carefully.

Oak Mesa displayed its true patriotic colors at the assembly ... and

Oak Mesa displayed its true patriotic colors at the assembly ... and

The night before at "Back to School Night."

The night before at "Back to School Night," from left, Mitchell Barron, Nicholas Willison, and Kyle Plat presented the colors.

 THANK YOU OAK MESA FOR HELPING US

REMEMBER SEPTEMBER

4 Responses to “9/11 PATRIOT ASSEMBLY: Oak Mesa Students Soar in More Ways Than One”

  1. This was so beautiful to see. You are raising fine young people – both parents and teachers!

  2. Thank you La Verne Online for coming to our school on this very special day. Many of us worked hard to show Oak Mesa’s patriotism and what a colorful, impressive event it was!! We are proud to be the Oak Mesa Community and proud to be Americans! Thanks again for showcasing our assembly.

  3. Thank you, Mr. Bennett for showcasing Oak Mesa during our memorable patriotic assembly on September 10th. Amidst all of the violence and hostility reported in the news, it is so refreshing to read about the greatness of our children who will be leading our nation in a few years.

  4. I am so very proud to be a Grandmother of Oak Mesa students, Mrs. Eberhart is truly a wonderful Principal. She takes that extra step to show her students the importance of being good students and always rewards their efforts. Last year they had a Beach Day and were surprised with an airplane pulling a flag congratulating them for their Great API score. This proves that rewards do go far.

Leave a Reply