70 years ago Albert Schaub was on a submarine patrolling the waters of the South Pacific during the height of World War II; Tuesday he sat in the library at Flynn Elementary School telling stories about his life while receiving a message of thanks from a grateful community.
On Veterans Day, Flynn Elementary hosted its 14th Annual Flynn Veterans Day Reception. It’s an opportunity for students to invite the veterans in their lives to come to the school and be recognized for their sacrifice. The room was filled to capacity as families listened to the Flynn Elementary choir and heard remarks from dignitaries, including Superintendent Pam Swanson.
Swanson told the families about the District’s plan to honor Sergeant First Class William Leggett, a 1993 graduate of Westminster High School who died in Afghanistan this summer. (See related story) She also spoke of her father, who served in the Army during World War II, earning the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison, a veteran himself, asked everyone to take a moment to, “thank a vet” for their service.
Lieutenant Colonel Scott Shires spoke movingly of what he called the, “long line of service” that unites the veterans through the years of service.
Among those to hear the message was Army Staff Sergeant Vince Mennell who recently returned from Afghanistan. He is the son-in-law of librarian Cynthia Qualls who has been the guiding force behind Flynn’s annual celebration.
And, for the first time ever, nearby Shaw Heights Middle School also celebrated Veterans Day. Lieutenant Colonel Shires’ granddaughter Julia always attended the celebration as a student at Flynn. When she moved on to Shaw Heights, she promoted the idea of celebrating the day at the middle school as well. School leader’s quickly agreed.