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Ripon veterans take part in Great Valley assembly
From left, Adjutant Ernie Tyhurst and Capt. Marcus Whitfield of American Legion Post 190 were among the special guests at Friday morning’s Veterans Day assembly at Great Valley Elementary School. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

Layla Novicio paid tribute to those who served their country at Friday morning’s Veterans Day assembly at Great Valley Elementary School.

She’s an eighth grader at the Manteca Unified kindergarten- through- eighth- grade school site in the Weston Ranch community of Stockton.

“The reason we have our freedom to enjoy is because of the sacrifices they made,” said Novicio of the fighting men and women of the armed forces.

She was among selected as the student speakers following a school-wide tryout.

Principal Jacalyn Davis was impressed by student speech – Novicio touched on the brutal realty of war coupled with the struggles and sacrifices of military personnel.

“They’re away from family and loved ones for long periods of time,” said the Great Valley student.

The special school-wide event was made possible by the Veterans Day Committee led by teachers Shawna Denton and Justine Almanza, who also performed The Stars Spangled Banner.

American Legion Post 190 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1051, both from Ripon – included were Ernie Tyhurst, Marcus Whitfield and Ken Lawson – took part in the Great Valley Veterans Day observation consisting of color guards and an emotional flag-folding ceremony.

Some of the special guests stayed afterward, visiting classrooms and enjoying brunch in the library.

Veterans Day was Monday.