Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Veterans honored at 3rd annual Veterans Day Program

Jim Karelskint speaks during the 3rd annual Veterans Day Program on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, at the Tonganoxie High gymnasium on the east campus.

Jim Karelskint speaks during the 3rd annual Veterans Day Program on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, at the Tonganoxie High gymnasium on the east campus.

November 17, 2021

Several veterans were front and center for Friday’s veterans appreciation assembly at the Tonganoxie High School gymnasium.

With students seated in the upper bleachers, Tonganoxie USD 464 administrators addressed the crowd, as did THS senior Andrew Willson after the Tonganoxie Post 9271 Color Guard posted the colors of the United States and Kansas flags.

THS principal Mark Farrar gave a short address and various honors and recognitions were announced.

Five quilts of valor were presented to veterans and their families. Students displayed the quilts as the recipients came to the podium. The quilts then were folded and given to veterans or their families. USD 464 Superintendent Loren Feldkamp announced quilts of valor recipients and recognized local quilters Jean Pearson, Janet Stuke, Christine Fink, Connie Leonard and Meri O’Hare.

This year’s Quilts of Valor recipients were Robert “Bob” Cooper, Kent Quarles, Don Sharp and Delbert Felts. George Cooper’s family also will be given a fifth quilt. George Cooper was a longtime Tonganoxie resident and volunteer who died earlier this year at the age of 100.

THS choir and band students performed “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the songs of each branch of the military as veterans stood during their respective songs.

Local veteran and former state representative Jim Karleskint was the guest speaker for the event.

He also spoke about the many Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy entries the VFW received this year from THS and TMS students. Erin Ulreich, this year’s Voice of Democracy winner at THS, also was recognized.

Karleskint got emotional talking about presenting colors at the THS homecoming game this fall. He noted how respectful the sea of red-clad Chieftain fans were as he looked out in the stands, but he also provided a little unintended comic relief in the process.

He commented how “stoned” the crowd looked, when he meant to describe how still they were during the patriotic pregrame ceremony. Kareleskint quickly explained as the gym filled with laughter.

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