Apple Valley High School held its annual Veterans Day all-student assembly Nov. 9 to honor local veterans, active duty service personnel and their families.
The event included performances by the Valley Select Chorale and the AVHS Wind Ensemble. There were speeches by freshmen Joanna Santiago and Cirine Benahsaine about how veterans have impacted their lives and the keynote was delivered by Brigadier General Greg Haase of the Air National Guard.
During the ensemble’s performance of the “Armed Forces Salute,” veterans stood on the gymnasium floor to be recognized by the crowd of students when the song representing their branch of the military was played.
Robert Anholt of Apple Valley was one of two WWII veterans who attended the assembly. Anholt (pictured above) served in the Air Force as a gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. He said he “was a little late” getting to Europe for WWII, as the war was ending when he was being shipped overseas, but he remained in the Air Force and served in the Korean War before retiring after a 20-year career. Anholt and wife, Marilyn, moved to Apple Valley in 1967 after he retired and their son was in the first graduating class at Apple Valley High 10 years later.
Near the end of the assembly, students in Apple Valley’s unified physical education class presented a large U.S. flag that was flown on board the USS Abraham Lincoln, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. The flag was flown in honor of Apple Valley High School and the students — past, present and future — who have served their country. Principal Michael Bolsoni told the crowd that in recognition of Military Family Appreciation Month, this flag will be flown in front of the high school during the month of November as a reminder of the courage, commitment and sacrifices of these individuals and their families.