(Laredo, Texas)-Longhorn proud, United strong, and honored to celebrate the men and women who have served our country were the sentiments echoed in every song, every poem, and every speech featured at the United High School annual Veterans Day Program.
The event captivated the attention of all those in attendance. Students, teachers, and guests were treated to a wonderful ceremony so poignantly put together by the campus staff and administration at United High School. Every detail was beautifully thought out and wonderfully executed.
The Mighty Longhorn Band under the direction of John J. Mallon serenaded guests as they entered with the familiar sounds of patriotic music. Campus Principal Alberto Aleman welcomed guests and shared the importance of honoring our Veterans not just on Veterans Day, but every day. “We have the greatest armed forces in the world and we owe our freedom and liberties to each and every one of our Veterans,” said Mr. Alberto Aleman, Principal of United High School. “We have the freedom to assemble and today we honor and celebrate the sacrifice of every Veteran who has served our country,” he added.
Guest Speaker for the event was United States Attorney for Laredo and Marine Veteran Chris dos Santos. Captain dos Santos served in Afghanistan as support of Operation Enduring Freedom under special staff to the Battalion Commander. Captain dos Santos spoke of his time both as a student in school and his time in the military. His message was clearly conveyed to all those in attendance in a quote he shared, “A veteran, whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve, is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of up to and including their life.”
Student performances rounded out the event. The choir, led by Hacel Arias, sang a beautiful medley of well-known patriotic music titled America Celebration. Much to the delight of the audience, the Rifle Drill Team of the Air Force ROTC Program under the direction of Major Jose Loya, Chief Rogelio Martinez, and Master Sergeant Charles Blakeney performed. Oscar Lopez, United High School President, shared the meaning of TAPS, which was followed by a solo of TAPS performed by Longhorn Band student Raymond Lopez. While students, Gilberto Loredo and Scarlett Garcia, shared original poems about Veterans Day.
It is a long standing tradition at United High School to host Veterans from the community for a Veterans Day Program. United High School is led by Principal, Alberto Aleman. Student Activities Coordinator Patricia Martinez was responsible for coordinating the event.