Students and Staff Pay Tribute to Fallen Soldiers

Love Elementary hosts Memorial Wall while Austin High School hosts tribute event

May 25, 2012


Not everyone can go see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., but Love Elementary staff, students, parents and local community members were invited to experience the Texas Wall of Fallen Heroes Memorial on May 24. The traveling exhibit visited the Love campus to honor the memory of those Texas soldiers who have lost their lives serving our country and to encourage continued support for the men and women currently serving in the military.

“The wall offers a great opportunity for us to explain to the students the importance of Memorial Day,” said Love Principal Robert Chavarria. “Many times they just think it is just a day off from school and they don’t know the meaning behind it. This is a visual way for them to learn about patriotism and the sacrifice soldiers have made for our country.”

Students in pre-k through fifth grade got a chance to view the wall, which not only contains the names but also the images of Texas soldiers who have died in the line of duty. They also were able to speak to a group of veterans and their family members who guard and protect the wall as it travels throughout the state.

Meanwhile, Austin High school students and staff will pay tribute to school alumni who have been killed serving their country or who are missing in action. On Saturday, May 26, at 10:30 a.m., student council members will place 64 American flags on the lawn of the school in honor of each soldier killed. Among the flags, will be one for U.S. Navy Reserve Petty Officer Second Class Jorge Velasquez who graduated from Austin in 1995. Velasquez died earlier this month while working in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Bahrain.

A sixty-fifth flag will be placed on the lawn of the school as well to honor those missing in action and unidentified soldiers. Wreaths will also be placed on the Fallen Heroes Memorial at the entrance of the school. The event is free and the public is invited.

“This annual tribute not only helps our students to grasp the depth of the sacrifices that others have made and will continue to make for our county, but it also reminds us all of our own responsibilities to be active citizens,” said Austin Principal Jorge Arredondo.