QISD spends day honoring Veterans

QISD students in four separate assemblies held in various schools throughout the city spent the day honoring Veterans for their commitment to sacrifice and to serving America.

The Nov. 8 ceremony featured a full afternoon of musical performances, a patriotic gallery displaying student art work from Thompson Middle School and Ford High School and musical performances including the National Anthem, Military Hymns from each branch of service and the playing of TAPS. The all-district choir featuring students of all grade levels in the district sung together and were accompanied by the Ford High School band ensemble

“Adrianna Jones and Amelia Crumm read their winning essays from the Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen Essay Competitions. Each of our veteran guests was introduced and honored for their service to our country. The Foyer to the Auditorium was filled with original artwork created by TMS and FHS art students. As veterans arrived, they were greeted by members of the Student Council and provided with tickets to vote on the artwork. The winners were Owin Arredondo and Katelyn Hargrove. Our speaker for the TMS and FHS assemblies was Lt. Col. Damon Friedman, a Junior Olympian, decorated combat veteran of the Air Force and Marine Corps who served in four combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He and his wife, Dayna, established SOF Missions, a faith-based non-profit organization that has served an estimated 65,000 people through various projects. Lt. Col. Friedman has earned a doctorate and is a recent recipient of the 2018 Spirit of Hope Award. His message to our students and guests was a message of hope. With passion and intensity, he shared his life’s challenges, the hard lessons he learned during childhood, and how he was able to persevere through trials. He encouraged the audience that they too have a purpose for their lives and can accomplish their goals through hard work and dedication,” said Quinlan ISD Director of School Community Relations Tiffony Upchurch.

“It doesn’t matter the color of your skin. It doesn’t matter how much money your family makes or doesn’t make. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter that you come from royalty. It doesn’t matter if you come from the projects. Every human being in this whole world is equal,” said Lt. Col Friedman. “It is important to not be so divided, but to work together … to be an unstoppable force for goodness. We do a better job fighting ourselves than fighting terrorism,” said Lt. Col. Friedman.

Lt. Col. Friedman also told the students that they were born with a purpose and that America is looking for each of them to stand up.

“Today, more than ever, we are looking for champions … right now, America is looking for champions to fight for righteous causes,” said Lt. Col. Friedman. “You were made with a purpose. You are not an accident.”

“We would like to thank Mike Nelson for spearheading the initiative to bring the traveling Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial Wall that honors the men and women from Texas who gave their lives in service to their country. The QISD Veterans Day Assemblies are a labor of love and are made possible by the hard work and dedication of our Fine Arts, Media, STUCO, HOSA, Police Explorers, and FFA students. Special thanks to our Fine Arts staff, Mr. Filip, Mr. Galope, Ms. Evans, Mr. To’afa, Mrs. Clowers, Mrs. Mccarty. Mrs. Stewart, Mr. Ashlin, Mr. Rosenberg, Ms. Hayden, Ms. Gandy, Mr. Barrett, and Ms. Dorsey. We would like to also thank Mr. Irvin, Mr. Milton, Mrs. House, Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Kinsworthy, Mr. Merkel, Mrs. Lafferty, the Transportation, Maintenance, Food Service, QISD Police, Family and Community Engagement, H.R, Marketing, School, Community Relations, Curriculum, and Technology Department,” said Quinlan ISD Director of School Community Relations Tiffony Upchurch.