Its a Great Day to be a Veteran!


Owen Carozza, Austin Lakely, Joe Burns, Valarie Brock, and Brain Brock gathered together in the Durango High School band room during the Veterans Breakfast on November 9, 2022 to celebrate everything our Veterans have done for us.

Veterans Day Assembly Kicked off With a Breakfast Commemorating Local Veterans

Two events are hosted annually here at Durango High School to commemorate our troops who live in Durango. The veterans day breakfast and the all-school assembly are memorable parts of the first semester at DHS. In addition, there are many performances by the band, choirs, and even people doing solo acts and reading poetry. 

This year was a success. Hazel Seashore, a junior at DHS and student council member, was one of the lead organizers. This will mark her second year organizing with co-member Vivian Pinkerton. When asked if this year was easier to organize Hazel said, “I would say yes because I know a lot more about what’s going on.” 

Even this year, the council has faced more obstacles when planning. A major roadblock was the auxiliary gym floor. Since it was built in the summer of 2022, the floor takes a year to cure, so all of the chairs and tables laid out on the floor had to be on rugs so as not to damage the new hardwood. “This year, I think we are pretty set,” Hazel stated.

Police Chief Bob Brammer and Terry Northcult at the Veterans Breakfast in the Durango High School Band room on November 9, 2022 to “Honor our Veterans” for their service in the military.

Many groups and organizations come to help with the Veterans Day assembly, including the entire student council, the Future Farmers of America (FFA), veterans residing in Durango, and former military policeman Bruce Heller.


Bruce has been an essential and honored member of the Durango community since enlisting in the military. He helps organize the assembly at DHS by bringing in the flags for the color guard and helping coordinate for the veterans participating. 

He was raised here in Durango and enlisted in the army in the fall of 1972. He served until the fall of 1975. He was raised here in Durango and enlisted in the army in the fall of 1972. He enlisted because he needed financial aid to go to college. One of the reasons he joined was because of the Vietnam War. 

After joining the military, Bruce felt what he stated was a “surge of patriotism” and that joining was the right thing to do for his country. However, even though he felt pride in defending his country, he thought the military wasn’t the job he wanted to dedicate his life to. So instead, he worked out in the natural gas fields. He owns a small excavation company with a contract pumping service where workers go out to natural gas wells to ensure they are kept flowing and functional.



Ruth and Fred Riedinger posing for a photo at the Veterans Breakfast on November 9, 2022 in the Durango High School Band room to celebrate the courageous acts of our Veterans.

Veterans Day Assembly

On November 9th, 2022, DHS came together to celebrate our veterans. The day started off with a breakfast for our guests and was soon followed by an assembly. At the assembly the student body government welcomed the veterans and expressed their appreciation for all they have done for our country. Then, as the DHS band played, different branches of the military walked up to take their seats. First, the Army, then the US Coast Guard, then the Marine Corps, then the Air Force, and then the US Navy followed by the space force. After the veterans were welcomed and seated, the DHS choir sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem. Once the song was finished, everyone in attendance was led in the pledge of allegiance by Elise Schumann and Elizabeth Wancura. Principal Hoerl then greeted the veterans and gave thanks to them and everyone who made the assembly possible, including but not limited to, the culinary class for providing breakfast, choir, band, the custodial staff, and the student body government. He talked about traits of portrait of a graduate, and how “Service in the military has enhanced these skills in each and every one of our veterans.” 

After Hoerl’s speech concluded, Vivian Pinkerton recited a poem, Thank a Veteran, about veterans and those we’ve lost. A memorable and significant part being “Even though their flesh may have left, their freedom is never forgotten.” Following the poem, the DHS choir sang “Brother” and Seneca Wilson sang Traveling Soldier by The Chicks as well as accompanying it on guitar. Afterwards, Noah Oury and troupe 1096 presented a performance to represent and pay homage to veterans who haven’t returned. The focal point of the performance was a table with different items to represent various things such as hope for return and an empty chair to show they are not yet home. Ensuing this, the Durango chief of police, Bob Brammer, expressed his gratitude for veterans and carried on honoring those who haven’t yet returned stating, “In our memories and in our hearts we remember those who are no longer with us.” And concluded his speech with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt. Then, Bruce Heller, an Army veteran who has helped plan and organize each of the veterans day assemblies, gave a speech for his fellow veterans saying, “Be proud of your service. It’s a great day to be a veteran.” Once he finished his speech, all branches of the military came up to receive yellow flowers. The student body government gave a final speech, and a moment of silence followed to pay respect to our veterans. Finally, Ava Allen, Seneca Wilson, Gwyneth Prothero, and Sabriel Wood of the DHS choir sang America The Beautiful. After the assembly concluded, the girls volleyball team was sent off for state.